December 24, 2019 / 6:46 AM / a month ago

Israel ministry briefly postpones start of Leviathan gas production

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the newly arrived foundation platform of Leviathan natural gas field, in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Haifa, Israel January 31, 2019. Marc Israel Sellem/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry temporarily postponed the start of production at the offshore Leviathan gas field, and the project’s partners said on Tuesday they were working with the ministry to bring the field online within a few days.

Leviathan was supposed to begin operations on Tuesday, but the ministry, which monitors emissions from the project, said at the last minute it needed to receive extra data from the energy companies running the field.

The Leviathan project is lead by Noble Energy and Delek Drilling.

Delek said in a statement that the Environmental Protection Ministry wanted to further validate analysis of the equipment and that the partners were submitting the necessary data. They said they remained “ready and prepared” to start production.

Leviathan production was last week delayed for a couple of days until a court lifted a temporary injunction that had been granted over environmental concerns.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen

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