MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – A subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom has signed a 20-year deal with Levant LNG Marketing Corp. to exclusively purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field in the Mediterranean, Gazprom said on Tuesday.
The agreement, which will expand Gazprom’s LNG exports and trading portfolio, follows a letter of intent signed by Gazprom in March 2012.
Gazprom wants to build up its LNG trading business to diversify away from traditional European customers receiving natural gas via pipelines.
“This is an important milestone for strengthening Gazprom’s position in the global LNG market,” Gazprom Marketing & Trading CEO Vitaly Vasiliev said.
“We are confident that this deal will not only help strengthen and diversify Gazprom’s LNG portfolio, but also help GM&T build on our success in the Asia-Pacific region, where we have recently closed long and medium-term deals with numerous counterparties in India and North East Asia.”
The Tamar floating LNG project will produce gas from the Tamar and Dalit gas fields off Israel’s east Mediterranean coast. The project is being implemented by the Tamar upstream consortium comprising Noble Energy Mediterranean (36 percent), Delek Drilling (15.6 percent), Avner Oil Exploration (15.6 percent), Isramco Negev-2 (28.75 percent) and Dor Gas (4 percent).
In November 2011 the Tamar partners signed an agreement with DSME, NextDecade and D&H Solutions to initiate joint development and implementation of a floating LNG facility scheduled for commissioning in 2017 with an estimated annual output of 3 million tons per annum.
Shortly after, the midstream project company Levant LNG Marketing Corporation was established to conduct discussions with potential LNG buyers.
Israel has two large offshore gas fields - Tamar and Leviathan - off the coast of the city of Haifa. The Tamar gas field’s reserves are estimated at 238 billion cubic meters and the potential of the Leviathan field is estimated at 453 billion cu m.