Noble and Woodside terminated Leviathan MOU
In May 2014, the Texas-based independent company Noble Energy Inc. (Noble) and the Australian national oil company (NOC) Woodside terminated their memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding their potential cooperation in the development of the giant non-associated gas field Leviathan offshore Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.
This non-binding MOU had been signed in December 2012 in a context where Leviathan had popped-up in Noble assets as the biggest ever discovery, not even sure about its own technical and financial capabilities to develop such offshore gas fields as operator with local partners only.
With estimated in-place reserves of 19 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, Leviathan was discovered in 2010 by 1,850 meters of water depth approximately 135 kilometers offshore Israel coast line.
This Leviathan gas field belongs to the Levantine Basin straddling in the Mediterranean Sea across Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Turkey territorial waters.
Representing more than 100 years of consumption for Israel this unprecedented discovery required a couple of years to the Government to define its export regulation if any.
In this uncertain context, Noble and its local partners, Delek Drilling (Delek), Avner Oil Exploration (Avner) and Ratio Oil Exploration (Ratio) opened shared to Woodside in order to provide them with its expertise in large offshore gas field.
During this period, Noble and its partners explored all concepts to develop Leviathan from conventional floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to up-to-date floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel or combination of both.
Noble to develop Leviathan FPSO Phase-1 on fast track
In addition some countries neighboring the Levantine Basin like Egypt and Turkey, accessible by conventional pipelines, emerged as interested customers for Leviathan gas reserves.
– Noble 39.66% is the operator
– Delek 22.67%
– Avner 22.67%
– Ratio 15%
The Leviathan FPSO should have a treatment capacity of 1.6 billion cubic feet per day (cf/d).