(CTN News) – According to the country’s energy ministry, Israel has decided to cease production at the Tamar gas field located off its southern coastline and is actively looking for alternative energy sources in order to meet its energy demands, which it announced on Monday.
In a statement, Chevron, the operator of the Tamar field, confirmed that it had received instructions from the Ministry of Energy to halt operations at the field that serves as a major source of natural gas for Israel’s power generation and industrial sectors.
In addition, some of the gas produced in Tamar is exported to neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Egypt.
In the wake of an incursion by Hamas militants from Gaza on Saturday, marking the deadliest breach of Israeli territory since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago, when Egypt and Syria launched attacks on Jewish settlements in Israel, this development comes as no surprise.
According to the energy ministry in a statement released yesterday, the Israeli defence establishment has ordered the temporary suspension of natural gas supplies from the Tamar field in response to the current situation.
To meet the energy demands of the economy, alternative fuel sources will be used, and preparations are being made in the power industry to move towards these alternatives in order to meet the demands of the economy.”
As part of a separate announcement released by the Israeli ministry of energy, it was reported that the Prime Minister has given Yisrael Katz the authority to declare a state of emergency in the country’s energy sector during the next two weeks if it becomes necessary.
The government is led by Benjamin Netanyahu. The government is expected to be able to allocate natural gas to consumers as a result of this move in the event that a shortage of natural gas occurs in the near future.
The Tamar gas field is located approximately 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) off the southern Mediterranean coast of Israel, just 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the city of Ashdod. In addition to its visibility from the northern Gaza Strip, the platform is also within the range of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
As reported by Chevron, Israel’s largest offshore gas field, Leviathan, continues to operate without any interruptions despite the ongoing conflict.
It was only a decade ago that Israel emerged as a significant gas supplier to the region with the start of production at the Tamar field, which was swiftly followed by the development of several other gas fields.
The government data indicates that Tamar’s output reached 10.25 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2022, an increase of 18% from the previous year.
There are four companies that hold shares in the Tamar field, Chevron, Isramco, Mubadala Petroleum from the United Arab Emirates, Tamar Petroleum, Dor Gas, and Everest, which hold stakes in the field, each holding 25%, 28.75%, 22%, 16.75%, 4%, and 3.5%, respectively.