Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is relinquishing its rights to the Marine gas field off the coast of Gaza, "Reuters" reports. The undeveloped gas field contains an estimated 32 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The Palestinian Authority now needs to find a new international group to develop and operate the field. Palestinian ministers say they are in the process of locating an alternative operator to Shell.
Shell owns 60% of the rights to the gas field with the Palestinian Authority owning the remaining 40%. British Gas (since acquired by Shell) discovered the field, 35 kilometers off the coast of Gaza, in 2000 but although it could have provided energy security for the Gaza Strip, the field has never been developed. The main reason for the failure to develop the field was the geopolitical problems in the region, which made it impossible for Shell to sign any export deals.
A Shell spokesman said: "We confirm we have been in discussions with various parties about the future of the Gaza Marine project. As of now, Shell continues to hold its equity in the Gaza Marine asset."
Shell held talks with Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) but no deal was ever signed, mainly because Israel feared that the money paid would end up supporting terrorism. Shell also held talks with Jordan, which in the end preferred to sign a deal to buy natural gas from the Tamar partners.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 8, 2018
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