Chevron to drill more wells earlier on Israel’s Leviathan as demand for eastern Mediterranean gas skyrockets


Chevron postponed plans to early 2022 to drill a fifth production well in Israel’s Leviathan gas and condensate field in the eastern Mediterranean, with the aim of increasing production after demand for gas from the field increased by 6% unexpectedly in the first half of 2021.

Field operator Chevron owns a 39.66% stake in Leviathan following its acquisition of Noble Drilling a year ago. Chevron’s partners are the Israeli partnership E&P Delek Drilling (a subsidiary of the Delek Group) which owns the majority of the shares of 45.34% and the Israeli limited partnership Ratio Oil and Gas (15%).

The deep-water field 125 km west of Haifa has estimated reserves of 649 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 41 million barrels of condensate, which, according to Delek, represents two-thirds of total gas resources. discovered in Israeli waters so far.

The production initiated at the end of December 2019 supplies the domestic market of Israel and is exported to Egypt and Jordan. But it is Egyptian demand that is driving Chevron to ramp up Leviathan’s drilling program as Egypt pursues its ambition to become a hub for processing gas from the Eastern Mediterranean.

the Stena Forth The drillship will drill the new production well (Leviathan 8) in the Leviathan North area, according to a report from Delek Drilling to investors.

The drilling will last approximately 4 months and will cost 248 million dollars, an investment to be shared in proportion to the participation of each partner. Its objective is to complete the four existing production wells in the Leviathan reservoir and improve the redundancy of the production system.

The sea depth at the planned development and production well is 1620 m. Expected final drilling depth is 5,300m below surface, according to Delek Drilling. The required infrastructure will be built for connection to the existing subsea production system of the Leviathan Project.

Supporting Chevron’s recommendation that new production wells should be commissioned sooner than expected, Delek Group noted in its Q1 2021 investor presentation in May that Leviathan’s annual run rate already had reached 10.8 bcm, exceeding the 10.2 bcm forecast for 2021. report also noted that

  • Exports to Egypt had increased from 0.3 bcm to 0.8 bcm.
  • Sales in the Israeli domestic market fell from 0.73 bcm to 1.26 bcm.
  • Exports to Egypt and Jordan accounted for 54% of Leviathan’s sales in the first quarter of 2021.

In addition to Leviathan, Chevron also acquired an operating stake (32.5%) in Israel’s second largest offshore gas field, Tamar, with the acquisition of Noble Drilling. Chevron is also a partner in the Aphrodite-Yishai gas field, shared between Israel and Cyprus.

In order to keep gas flowing to Egypt as the region matures, Chevron, along with its partners Leviathan and Tamar, agreed in January to invest $ 235 million for Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd. . annual capacity of 7 Gcm, Delek announced at the time.

Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy are also discussing the possible construction of the US-backed EastMed pipeline, which would transport 20 billion m3 of gas per year from Israel and Cyprus to Italy, passing through Greece.

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