Energean, the British energy company which operates Israeli natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, has announced that for the first time in its history, Israel is exporting hydrocarbon liquids in the form of crude oil. The fuel was extracted from Israel’s Karish offshore gas field in the Mediterranean.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration explains natural gas and crude oil are mixtures of different hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are molecules of carbon and hydrogen in various combinations. Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) are hydrocarbons that occur as gases at atmospheric pressure and as liquids under higher pressures.
Eneargen said that utilizing the “regionally unique” liquids storage and offloading capability of the FPSO”Energean Power, the liquids are being offloaded in a controlled manner and sold into various global markets. “This creates a significant differentiated income stream, fundamentally separate to gas derived revenues,” said the company which added that the cargo has been sold as part of a multi cargo marketing agreement with Vitol; the “first of a new source of East Med energy to reach Europe.”
Mathios Rigas, Energean CEO, said “We are happy and proud that Energean has facilitated Israel joining the club of international oil exporters. This is another milestone for us, enhancing Energean’s growth as a significant player in the local and regional markets.”
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In June an international incident was almost sparked when Energean first delivered a new floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) rig off the coast of Israel for use in the Karish field. But the Lebanese government complained that the field encroached on its territorial waters and the terrorist Hezbollah organization threatened renewed attacks on Israel because of this.
But Israel and Lebanon were soon after able to reach an unprecedented agreement settling the maritime border between the two nations that do not share any diplomatic ties.
And last 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.
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.