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Energean to Open Israel’s Karish Natural Gas Field ‘Within Weeks’

Energean Karish

New Energean Karish FPSO rig (company pic)

Energean, the British energy company which operates Israeli natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, has said that it should be able to begin production in the Karish field as soon as the start of the new Jewish year, which begins in two weeks’ time. However, Lebanon’s government continues to claim that the Karish natural gas field spreads into its own territorial water, which could lead to renewed conflict in the region.

Energean CEO Mathios Rigas told investors, “Our flagship Karish project is on track to start production within weeks and will enhance energy security in Israel and the region.”

In May, Energean, which specializes on the Eastern Mediterranean, revealed the discovery of 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas between its Karish and Tanin fields in its Athena exploration well off the coast of Israel.

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In June, Energean delivered a new floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) rig off the coast of Israel for use in Israel’s offshore natural gas field Karish. But at that time the Lebanese government complained that the field encroaches on its territorial waters and the terrorist Hezbollah organization is threatening renewed attacks on Israel because of this.

Israel has promised to dump coal and switch over to renewable energies, like wind and solar power, in the coming years for its part in the global fight against climate change. The country is also building new charging stations nationwide for electric vehicles. But, for the time being, its population still needs to use natural gas for electricity. Environmentalists hope that by the end of the 15 year period more renewable sources of energy will be in use for electricity needs in Israel, but for now natural gas is a much preferred alternative to coal.

Israel’s natural gas fields like Karish have enough gas to not only satisfy the country’s needs for the foreseeable future – until renewable sources of energy like solar power replace fossil fuels entirely – but to also supply neighboring countries like Egypt as well. However, the Lebanese government continues to make problems over the field’s ownership.

Since Lebanon has no diplomatic relations with Israel the two nations have no agreement on a set border between them, either on land or at sea. And the Iranian backed terrorist organization Hezbollah long threatened to attack Israel in some way should it move ahead with its gas exploration in the area with the Energean rig.

The Israeli Navy deployed ships to defend the natural gas site from a possible Hezbollah attack.



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