“The Ministry of Energy expects a major jump in gas revenues in 2020 as the Leviathan field has begun producing gas,” says Globes.
By World Israel News Staff
Fees and royalties from Israel’s natural gas, oil, and minerals totaled 864 million NIS (new Israeli shekels) in 2019, down from NIS 878 million in 2018, the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources reported this week, as cited by the Globes business news outlet.
However, “the Ministry of Energy expects a major jump in gas revenues in 2020 as the Leviathan field has begun producing gas,” says Globes.
In fact, it expects “a record increase in royalty revenues in 2020, largely from the production of natural gas” from the Leviathan, which began operations on January 6, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The ministry said that the drop during the past year was due “to the strengthening of the shekel in 2019 as well as a breakdown in the Tamar well in April,” according to Globes.
“Since the Tamar gas field came on stream in 2013, the government’s take has totaled NIS 5.18 billion,” it added.
On January 15, Israel began exporting natural gas to its southern neighbor Egypt as part of a deal signed in December.
Under the reported terms of the deal, Israel is to supply natural gas to Egypt for the next 15 years. The Egyptians would liquefy it and export it to Europe.
Earlier in January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz traveled to Athens to sign a major three-way gas pipeline agreement with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece.
Under the agreement, the pipeline will run across the Mediterranean from Israel’s Leviathan reservoir to the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland, and then to Italy. The pipeline is expected to satisfy about 10 percent of the European Union’s natural gas needs, decreasing energy dependence on Russia.