JERUSALEM, April 17 The partners developing
Israel's offshore Leviathan natural gas field are looking to
sell gas through a pipeline to Cyprus, officials said on
The group has bid to supply Cyprus' state-run natural gas
company, DEFA, between 0.7 to 0.95 billion cubic meters (bcm) of
gas annually for up to 10 years, said Israeli conglomerate Delek
Group, whose units Delek Drilling and
Avner Oil hold key stakes in Leviathan.
The plan would be to build a pipeline from the field, which
is located in the eastern Mediterranean between Israel and
Cyprus, and supply DEFA with gas starting in 2016 or 2017, Delek
said. The deal would last until 2022 or 2025.
Leviathan, discovered in 2010 by Delek, along with
Texas-based Noble Energy and Ratio Oil, was
the world's largest offshore find of the past decade. It holds
an estimated 530 bcm of gas, much of which is earmarked for
Cyprus will makes its decision by Aug. 21, Delek said in a
Israeli financial daily Globes reported that other bids have
come from Dutch-owned oil trader Vitol, a group led by Azeri
state oil company SOCAR, and a Greek consortium.
A source close to the Leviathan partners said they have a
good chance of beating out the other bidders because they are
the only ones able to supply gas through a pipeline, rather than
more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Delek and Noble have made a few other sizeable discoveries
in the area, including one in Cypriot waters, and are exploring
options on how best to develop them for export. One idea that
has been discussed is to build an LNG facility on Cyprus' coast.
"If Leviathan is chosen to supply gas to DEFA, it would
potentially improve relations with Cyprus in the field of
natural gas. If a pipeline is already being built, it might open
new options," the source said.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch)