Israel is to supply Jordan with natural gas from its vast Leviathan offshore gas field over a period of 15 years, US giant Noble Energy announced Wednesday.
A source close to the deal said it was worth $15 billion (11.4 billion euros) — a significant chunk of some $60 billion which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said will come from Israel’s offshore gas exports.
Noble announced in a statement the “execution of a non-binding letter of intent to supply natural gas from the Leviathan field, offshore Israel , to the National Electric Power Company Ltd (NEPCO) of Jordan.”
“Noble Energy and the Leviathan partners will supply a base gross quantity of 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from the Leviathan field over a 15-year term,” it said.
Leviathan is majority-owned by three Israeli companies, with 40 percent owned by Noble.
A source close to the deal, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was worth some $15 billion, and hailed the deal as “important for Israel geopolitically to establish our relationship with Jordan and other Arab countries.”
Export plans for the eastern Mediterranean have been taking shape over the past five years since Noble discovered the Leviathan field in Israeli waters.
The Leviathan field’s size is estimated at 18.9 trillion cubic feet (535 billion cubic metres) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate, and has been hailed as the largest gas deposit found in the world in a decade.
Netanyahu has said exports from Leviathan and another field, Tamar, would bring in some $60 billion to state coffers over the next 20 years.
Israel’s natural gas finds are expected to sharply reduce its dependence on imports.