Noble Energy has announced that it has started production at the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, offshore of Israel, with all five of the subsea wells producing at a rate of about 300 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).
The total current sales, when combined with the existing Mari-B volumes, will be around 500 MMcf/d and is estimated to average 700 MMcf/d through the remainder of 2013.
The Tamar field development has been designed to provide natural gas rates up to one billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), while volumes are expected to reach the maximum capacity during the peak summer demand in the third quarter of 2013.
At the beginning of April, Israel announced the commencement of natural gas flow from the Tamar field, ending four years of anticipation and marking an important day for the country's economy, as hailed by Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
Discovered in 2009, the Tamar reservoir is estimated to contain about 250 billion cubic metres of natural gas. Tamar gas field's five subsea wells have the capacity to flow at 250 MMcf/d of natural gas each.
With development drilling and continued reservoir analysis and modelling, the gross resource estimate of Tamar reserve has increased to ten trillion cubic feet (Tcf), up from nine Tcf.
Noble Energy operates the Tamar gas field with a 36% working interest, and the other partners are Isramco Negev 2, Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Dor Gas Exploration, which own 28.7%, 15.6%, 15.6% and four percent interest, respectively.
Israel, which is expected to use gas from the Tamar field in the next couple of decades to meet its domestic needs, is estimated to save ILS13bn ($3.5bn) on energy costs annually with this latest development.
Image: Map of the Tamar field and wells in the Eastern Mediterranean.