Gas flow from the Tamar natural gas field will begin on Sunday, energy market sources believe. Minister Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom today visited the Tamar production rig, 22 kilometers offshore from Ashdod. During the visit, he wrote on his Facebook page that gas flow would begin at any moment, adding, "This is Israel's energy freedom and independence day."
Shalom was accompanied by Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva. Delek owns 31.35% of Tamar through subsidiaries Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) and Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L); Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) owns 36%, Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L) owns 28.7%, and Alon Natural Gas Exploration Ltd. (TASE: ALGS) owns 4%.
During the visit, Tshuva said, "Gas flow will result in significant political and social change, and improve the standard of living and the environment."
Gas flow from Tamar should end Israel's natural gas shortage since the halt in Egyptian deliveries, due to attacks on pipelines in Sinai in early 2011, following the collapse of President Hosni Mubarak's regime. The start of gas flow from Tamar is based on the original timetable, and will make it possible to reduce upcoming electricity rate hikes.
The pipeline from the Tamar well head, 90 kilometers west of Haifa, to the production platform and the onshore terminal cost $3.5 billion to build.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 27, 2013
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