The largest energy project in the history of the State of Israel is reaching its final stages of completion and remains on schedule to deliver first commercial gas sales to the Israel domestic market and regional markets before the end of the year.
In recent weeks the Leviathan partnership –comprised of Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Ratio – completed the construction and testing of the production units (topsides) of the Leviathan Platform that will process natural gas from the reservoir and transport it to Israel’s national gas pipeline.
The first of five operational units that comprise the topsides set sail from Texas. In the coming weeks, the remaining units will set sail for Israel.The topside units, built during the past 26 months by Noble Energy experts and subcontractors specializing in complex offshore projects, will cross the Atlantic Ocean and arrive in Israeli waters at the end of the Summer.
Considerable activity will take place in the Leviathan Platform area offshore after the topside units arrive on large barges. They will be accompanied by a fleet of vessels that will enable a team of workers to assemble the five topside units on top of the platform jacket into a complete operational structure in September. The hoisting and assembly work will be performed by the largest offshore crane in the world.The area will be closed to maritime traffic. The entire process will take approximately four weeks, after which the crane and barges will leave the area. Crew vessels and supply boats will continue to serve the platform over the life of the platform.
The Leviathan Platform will be set at a water depth of 86 meters, and the height of the topsides from sea level to the top level is 47 meters. The platform boom, which reaches a height of 130 meters above sea level, is part of the platform safety system.
The platform topside decks, which are 102 meters long, 80 meters wide and weigh 38,000 tons, will be located approximately 10 kilometers from the shore.
The topsides will house the platform’s gas processing facilities, accommodations for the team of workers, work areas and helipad. The flare located at the tip of the platform boom is part of the platform’s safety systems and is designed to prevent hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere. In addition, the topsides will contain all of the utilities required to operate the platform including power generation, water desalination and waste treatment. In essence, the platform is not dependent on onshore facilites for any of its utility needs.
After connecting and assembling the topside units of the platform, Noble Energy will start a series of commissioning tests before initiating commercial gas flow to the domestic market before the end of 2019.
For the first time in history, Israel will also become a significant energy exporter when flow of Leviathan natural gas to Israel’s neighbors begins.
Connecting the Leviathan pipeline will make it possible for the Israeli energy sector to be based almost exclusively on electricity generated by natural gas, leading to a significant reduction in pollution and improved air quality in Israel.
Noble Energy has discovered 40 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. The 22-Tcf Leviathan reservoir discovered in December 2010, 125 kilometers west of Haifa, was one of the largest natural gas finds in the world in the last decade.The Leviathan Partnership invested $3.75 billion in development of the reservoir.
The first phase of the Leviathan development included drilling four production wells at an average depth of 5 kilometers below sea level. Each well has a production capacity of 300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (MMcf/d), with a total annual production capacity of around 12 billion cubic meters (Bcm) – more than doubling the quantity of natural gas produced in Israel today.
Natural gas from the reservoir will be transmitted through two 120-kilometer sub-sea pipelines directly to the Leviathan Platform. Natural gas will be processed at the platform before the treated gas and stabilized condensate flow from the platform through a northern entry pipeline connected to the INGL (Israel Natural Gas Lines) national gas transmission system, as defined in the National Outline Plan.