BRUSSELS: The European Union’s envoy to Israel met Wednesday with Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to discuss possible exports of the country’s newly found natural gas to Europe.
According to a statement released by the ministry, Steinitz presented EU’s Lars Faaborg-Andersen with the expected timetable for the development of the Leviathan natural gas field, off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
Andersen said that the interest of the EU in the Israeli gas had increased in the wake of a recent deal signed between the Israeli government and a U.S.-Israeli consortium to develop the country’s natural gas fields.
The Energy Ministry added that EU energy commissioner is expected to visit Israel on an official trip to discuss the issue “soon.”
In December 2015, after years of political infightings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a long-awaited agreement allowing Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel-based Delek Group to develop Leviathan.
Found in 2010, Leviathan has estimated reserves of 622 bcm of natural gas.
Noble believes that gas from Leviathan could reach markets as soon as 2019, despite the drop in gas prices. Gas production in Tamar, a nearby smaller gas field, kicked off in March 2013.