Tamar group in talks to sell natural gas to Jordan -website

JERUSALEM Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:23am EST

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JERUSALEM Feb 14 (Reuters) - The U.S.-Israeli consortium developing the Tamar natural gas field off Israel's Mediterranean coast is in talks to sell gas to Jordanian companies, financial news site TheMarker reported on Thursday.

The Tamar prospect, whose estimated reserves of 274 bcm made it one of the largest discoveries of the past decades, is expected to begin production in the next few months.

TheMarker said the Tamar group has been holding secret talks to supply gas to Arab Potash and other plants on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea through an extension of a gas pipeline. It noted that Jordan imports 97 percent of the fuel it needs, while the Jordanian energy sector relies 88 percent on natural gas.

Jordan, like Israel, has suffered from a wave of attacks on pipelines from Egypt. But Egypt still supplies Jordan with gas while it halted supply to Israel last year.

Texas-based Noble Energy leads the Tamar drilling group with a 36 percent stake. Isramco Negev owns 28.75 percent, Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling hold 15.625 percent each and Dor Gas Exploration has a 4 percent stake.

Tamar declined to comment but an Israeli energy industry source said selling gas to Jordan has always been an option.

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