Leviathan Gas Rig on Its Way to Israel

The rig that will transport natural gas from one of the world’s larger offshore gas finds of the past decade has set sail from Texas to Israel.

By David Lazarus |
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz visit at Israeli Leviathan gas field gas processing rig near the Israeli city of Caesarea, on January 31, 2019. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL *** Local Caption *** ?????? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ??????? Photo: Photo Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

The Leviathan project, dubbed after the Bible’s Hebrew word for the whale that swallowed Jonah, is the largest energy project in the history of the State of Israel. The Leviathan gas field is a huge source of natural gas located 1,500 meters (4,900 ft.) deep in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel discovered in 2010.

The gas-rich field is located roughly 130 kilometers (81 mi) off the coast between Haifa and Caesarea. Together with the nearby Tamar gas field, the Leviathan field holds enough gas to meet Israel’s domestic needs for the next 40 years and could potentially spark new economic partnerships with neighboring countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

The rig and platform which weighs 38,000 tons was built by Nobel Energy and is on its way from the Gulf of Mexico on a barge headed for the Mediterranean coast of Israel. The platform will be set up approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 mi.) from the shore. The lifting and assembling of the operating units on the rig will be carried out by the world’s largest marine crane.

Natural gas from the Leviathan field will be pumped through two 120-kilometer (75 mi.) under-sea pipelines directly to the Leviathan Platform where is will be treated before flowing to the Israel Natural Gas Lines in Haifa.

Connecting the Leviathan Platform to Israel via pipeline will make it possible for the Israeli energy sector to be based almost exclusively on electricity generated by natural gas which will significantly reduce air pollution in Israel. And for the first time in history, Israel will become a significant player in the export of energy. Commercial gas sales to the Israeli domestic and regional markets are expected before the end of 2019.


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