Noble Energy to halt Tamar gas to repair pipe leak


The flow of gas will be halted for twelve hours on Saturday while a leak in the Ashdod gas terminal is repaired.

A halt in the flow of gas from the Tamar field is expected on Saturday, sources inform "Globes." This is due to a pipe leak in the Ashdod gas terminal. Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) notified Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) that it is to prepare for a twelve-hour stoppage of the gas flow, from 4:00 am until 4:00 pm. Demand is expected to reach a record high of 7,000 megawatts on Saturday.

Noble's announcement forces IEC to act accordingly. Indeed, sources inform "Globes" that IEC is already preparing to take measures to operate the liquefied natural gas (LNG) boat, which is located ten kilometers west of Hadera. In situations where there is excessive consumption, or when there is a problem with the flow of gas from the Tamar reservoir to Israel's coast, the boat can become operational within minutes. The boat converts the liquid gas into its gaseous state, and pipes it to Israel, thus preventing outages.

Just last week, the company readied itself for a disruption of gas flow from the Tamar reservoir, due to congestion in the gas-piping system, and increasing output from the main pipeline bringing natural gas to Israel. Today, gas reaches Israel via a single pipeline, and in case of a malfunction on the rig or in the pipeline, IEC must rely upon more expensive and polluting fuels.

IEC chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal said during the drill that the Israeli energy market's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness: "We have a single gas field, and a single pipeline. And this will be the situation for the next five years at least." Ron-Tal added that immediate action must be taken to set up an additional LNG rig, "In order to minimize the damages that are liable to arise in a market based on a single gas pipeline."

Tamar Partners said, "During a routine safety check, a minor leak was discovered in one of the pipes in the Ashdod gas receiving station. There is no concern for harm to the population, the environment, or the facility. The nature of the leak allowed us to choose, in cooperation with our clients, the timing of the repair, which will be carried out over the coming weekend, when the temperature drops, and when industry and market demand is low.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 20, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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