Israeli Firms in Talks to Buy Natural Gas from Leviathan


JERUSALEM, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The partners in Israel's offshore Leviathan natural gas site said on Thursday they were in talks to supply gas to a number of Israeli companies.

In a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, units of Delek Group said the firms were private electricity producers and industrial companies but did not offer further details.

Last month, after years of political infighting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a deal giving long-awaited approval for the development of Leviathan off Israel's Mediterranean coast.

Leviathan, with estimated reserves of 622 billion cubic meters, will cost at least $6 billion to develop. It is meant to begin production in 2018-2020, although that timetable looks ambitious, and supply billions of dollars' worth of gas to Egypt and Jordan, and possibly Turkey and Europe.

Development of Leviathan is being led by Texas-based Noble Energy and Delek through its units Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)


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