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Leviathan and Tamar Push Israel’s Natural Gas Royalties to Skyrocket by 50% in H1 2022

ENatural Gas

EastMed pipeline canceled by Biden administration Tamar rig / by Ilan Nissim / Energy Ministry

Revenues from Israel’s natural gas fields jumped by almost 50% in the first half of 2022. Israel has several natural gas fields off its coast in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, like the Tamar and Leviathan, that were discovered in recent years. Their value is part of the reason that the terrorist group Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, is pushing the claim that some of the gas fields are really in Lebanese territorial waters and threatens to bomb them if Israel does not cease its operations there.

Data presented by the Royalties Division of Israel’s Ministry of Energy shows that in the first half of 2022 there was a significant jump of approximately 48% in the total royalties collected from Israel’s natural gas reservoirs which now stand at approximately NIS 824 million ($251 million).

In the first half of 2021 total royalties were about NIS 557 million.

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This increase was attributed to the record production of natural gas from both the Leviathan and Tamar reservoirs in the first half of the year, which amounted to 10.85 BCM (billion cubic meters), of which about 6.26 BCM for the domestic economy and about 4.59 BCM for export – this, compared to the production of about 8.9 BCM in the first half of 2021 – An increase of about 21.9%. Beyond that, the increase in the dollar exchange rate also contributed to a significant increase in total royalties.

The total royalties collected from the Leviathan reservoir amounted to approximately NIS 453 million from the production of approximately 5.62 BCM, an amount that reflects a significant increase of approximately 27.5% compared to the corresponding period last year. The volume of exports constituted about 68% of the production of the Leviathan reservoir, while the volume of royalties originating from exports constituted about 77.4% of the total royalties, due to higher export prices.

The total royalties collected from the Tamar reservoir amounted to approximately 366 million NIS from the production of approximately 5.23 BCM, an amount that reflects an increase of approximately 85% compared to the revenue from royalties from the reservoir in the corresponding period last year. The increase in revenues was mainly due to a significant increase of about 53.8% in production quantities as well as an increase in the average price of natural gas sold from the Tamar reservoir in the first half of 2022 compared to the corresponding half last year due to an increase in the export price and an increase in the exchange rate of the dollar.

Israel’s natural gas reserves have generated significant revenues for the state. The total revenue from royalties from the natural gas reservoirs collected by the Ministry of Energy exceeded NIS 9.8 billion ($3 billion) from 2004 to June 30, 2022, with the bulk of the revenue from royalties received beginning in 2013 with the start of gas flow from the Tamar reservoir. The royalty department’s expectation is for a further significant increase in royalty income.

In addition to natural gas and oil royalties, revenues from mineral royalties amounting to approximately NIS 4.7 million and revenues of approximately NIS 4.5 million from fees and various operations were recorded.

The Accounting and Economics Royalty Division updates the royalty forecast for 2022 and estimates that it will amount to approximately NIS 1.55 billion



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