Photo: Chevron's Tamar gas field; Source: Delek

Israel orders Chevron to restart Tamar gas field

Israel’s energy ministry has ordered Chevron to restart output at the Tamar offshore gas field nine days after it was shut down amid escalating violence and tensions in the region.

Chevron, the operator of the gas field, told Offshore Energy on 13 May 2021 the company had shut in and depressurized the Tamar platform in accordance with instructions received from the country’s Ministry of Energy.

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The shutdown came as Israel had carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza and Palestinian militants fired multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheba.

Following the shutdown, the Tamar gas platform will now be restarted, according to a Friday report by Reuters.

Offshore Energy has reached out to Chevron seeking confirmation and further details about Tamar operations.

A spokesperson for Chevron confirmed that Noble Energy Mediterranean has been instructed by Israel’s Ministry of Energy to restart operations at the Tamar platform.

The spokesperson added: “We remain focused on the safe and reliable supply of natural gas in compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of Israel”.

Chevron took over Tamar as well as Leviathan gas field following its acquisition of Noble Energy back in October 2020.

The oil major holds a 25 per cent-owned and operated interest in the Tamar gas field. In 2020, net daily production from the field averaged 173 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The lease for this field covers approximately 15,000 net acres (62 sq km), and the current term expires in 2038.

Recently, there have been reports that one of the partners in the Tamar field, Delek Drilling, is in talks to sell its stake for up to $1.1 billion.

Worth noting, Delek Drilling signed a natural gas sector agreement with the Israeli government several years ago, which obliges it to sell all of its holdings in the Tamar gas field by December 2021 because it also holds a 45.34 per cent stake in the Leviathan gas field.