NewMed FLNG Terminal
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
NewMed FLNG Terminal is a proposed floating LNG export terminal in Israel.
The FLNG's exact mooring location remains to be determined. However, in 2023, Yossi Abu, chief executive of NewMed Energy mentioned that the terminal would be built close the Leviathan platform, about 10 km from the shore of Dor, Israel.
- Owner: NewMed Energy (45.3%), Chevron (before Noble Energy; 39.7%), Ratio Energies (15%)
- Parent company: NewMed Energy, Chevron, Ratio Energies
- Location: near Leviathan platform, about 10 km from the shore of Dor, Israel
- Coordinates: 32.614, 34.808 (approximate)
- Capacity: 5 mtpa (7 bcm/year)
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Export
- FID Status: Pre-FID
- Start Year:
- Cost: US$51.5 million
Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcm/y = billion cubic meters per year
In August 2019, Israeli energy company NewMed Energy, then known as Delek Drilling, announced agreements for negotiating engineering services for a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility offshore Israel for gas from the Leviathan gas field. Delek is developing the basin offshore Israel, which has estimated resources of 21.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It’s a joint venture with U.S. independent producer Noble Energy (39.66%) and Israeli firm Ratio Energy (15%). The project will allow Israel to become a gas exporter, according to researchers. The joint venture is negotiating with Belgian maritime service provider Exmar and Bermuda-based shipping company Golar LNG to enter into a binding long-term charter agreement with the winner to finance, build, operate and maintain the facility. The Flng terminal will process between 2.4 and 5 million tons per year of natural gas, to then be shipped worldwide via LNG vessels.
In February 2021, Energy Voice reported that Delek Drilling was continuing to discuss potential collaboration with Exmar, although talks with Golar LNG had ended, and that the company was seeking to hire LNG expertise.
In February 2022, Delek Drilling rebranded itself as NewMed Energy and released a new strategic plan including increasing its exposure to the LNG market.
On February 2023, NewMed Energy and partners Chevron and Ratio Energies announced that they would be dedicating US$51.5 million to the preparation of the Leviathan LNG facility. They also agreed to spend US$45 million to expand the field's production. Yossi Abu, chief executive of NewMed, announced that the FLNG terminal would have an annual capacity of 7 billion cubic meters per year. NewMed and the company's partners also announced that they were expecting to agree on a final investment decision (FID) as soon as possible, and that it would take at least three years after FID to begin gas exports to Egypt and FLNG operations.
Israel's gas use and reserves
Israel's demand for imported LNG began in 2011 following the disruption of Egyptian supplied gas and the depletion of the offshore Yam Tethys reservoir.
The country, however, began moving to develop its domestic reserves after 2011. Israel’s known gas reserves were 30 trillion cubic feet. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2013 estimated at least twice as much could be had offshore that count meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 30 to 50 years. Reuters reported in 2013 that the USGS predicts the greater eastern Mediterranean’s Levant basin could hold up to 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. This would make it one of the world’s largest gas deposits.
In 2010 Israel had declared it would use its natural gas reserves to power cars and trucks, but according to a 2017 study by the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy, the country had done little to meet this goal.
In 2009 and 2010, two major offshore gas deposits, the Tamar and Leviathan fields, were discovered. However, although reserves amounting to almost 900 billion cubic meters were found, the exploitation of these resources was delayed by regulatory uncertainty until around 2017, when a final investment decision for the development of the initial phase of the development plan for the Leviathan field was reached.
In August 2017 Haaretz reported that Egypt could open up its markets to Israel gas. In early August 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi signed legislation forming a gas regulatory authority and permitting private companies to import gas. In 2020, Israel began importing gas to Egypt through the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline.
Even though Israel was historically almost entirely dependent on oil and gas imports, the discoveries of the Tamar and Leviathan fields have allowed the country to become more independent by shifting its economy to rely on its domestic gas reserves. In 2023, the estimated gas reserves for Israel were 1,087 billion cubic meters. This has allowed Israel to become an energy exporter, primarily to countries like Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.
War in Ukraine and European energy crisis
During 2022 and 2023, European energy markets shifted as as result of the war in Ukraine, creating opportunities for countries in the Middle East to develop gas and oil export projects to meet growing European demands for energy. Although Israel's deposits are large for the country, they're small compared to European demand; therefore, because of the relatively small quantities of gas available in Israel, the difficult topography of the Mediterranean, and the geopolitical complexities of the maritime borders in the region, exporting gas from Israel to Europe has historically proved to be too expensive and inefficient.
However, with rising demands from Europe, Israel and neighboring countries like Cyprus have been looking at LNG as an alternative to export gas to Europe while ridding themselves of the geopolitical complexities of constructing pipelines. One of the cheapest and most efficient way for Israel to export gas to Europe is through existing terminals in Egypt (Idku and Damietta). However, other projects like a land-based LNG export terminal in Cyprus, a proposed LNG export terminal in Israel, and the EastMed Pipeline are additional alternatives to export gas to Europe.
Middle East and LNG imports
Israel is not the only country rich with gas reserves in the Middle East to import gas. Countries in one the most gas rich regions import LNG by tanker. They include Mina Al-Ahmadi LNG Terminal in Kuwait in 2009, Jebel Ali FLNG Terminal in Dubai in 2010, Hadera LNG Terminal in Israel in 2013, Jordan through Aqaba Jordan LNG Terminal in 2015, Ruwais LNG Terminal in Abu Dhabi in 2016. The city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates plan to import LNG in 2018. Bahrain plans to import LNG through its Bahrain Hidd FLNG Terminal in 2019. It was reported in 2017 that even Saudi Arabia is considering LNG imports.
Articles and resources
- Delek considers LNG terminal offshore Israel, Kallanish Energy, August 1, 2019
- El Safty, Sarah (February 14, 2023). "NewMed Energy's planned floating LNG terminal to have 7 bcm capacity, says CEO". Reuters. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
- Stuart Elliot, FEATURE: Cyprus eyes progress on Aphrodite gas development, pipeline plan S&P Global, September 2, 2020
- "Israel's Giant Natural Gas Field Is Preparing For An LNG Terminal | OilPrice.com". OilPrice.com. Retrieved 2023-07-11. Cite error: Invalid
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- Reed, Ed (2021-11-02). "Delek seeks LNG expertise amid Leviathan plans". Energy Voice. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
- McKay, John. "Israel's Delek rebrands as NewMed Energy to be major gas and LNG player and seeks Morocco licences". lngjournal.com. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
- LNG Prime Staff (2023-02-23). "Chevron, NewMed Energy approve budget for Leviathan FLNG". LNG Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
- Oren Dori, "Israeli Government Failing to Encourage Natural Gas Use in Transport Sector," Haaretz, August 2, 2017.
- Hedy Cohen, "What does Israel Electric Corp actually pay for gas?," Globes, April 10, 2016.
- Martin Fletcher, "Israel’s Big Gusher," Slate, February 26, 2014.
- Reuters Staff, "Gazprom banks on floating terminal for Israeli LNG," Reuters, February 27, 2013.
- "Natural gas - production," CIA The World Factbook, accessed Oct 2017
- Eran Azran, "Egypt Clears the Way for Imports of Israeli Natural Gas," Haaretz, August 9, 2017.
- "Oil & Natural Gas in Israel". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
- Oren Dori. "Israeli government failing to encourage natural gas use in transport sector". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
- Elai Rettig (2023-03-12). "Israel's Energy Market and the War in Ukraine". Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
- Robin M. Mills, "The great gasification wave has passed," LiveMint, August 17, 2017.