Israel has launched its first major natural gas platform in the coveted Tamar gas field in the Mediterranean, raising hope of energy independence, Israel National News reported.
The platform, taller than Israel’s highest building, is located 24 miles west of the southern port city of Ashkelon and is scheduled to receive gas in April 2013.
“With faith, perseverance, and vision, we have achieved Israeli energy independence,” said a jubilant Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder of Delek Group Ltd., an Israeli energy conglomerate.
“Natural gas will not only make electricity production more efficient, cleaner, and cheaper, it is a giant step toward freeing us from dependence on foreign energy sources, especially Arab oil,” said Israeli Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau.
The Tamar gas field was Israel’s first major hydrocarbon discovery within its territory, spurring the discovery of other major fields such as Leviathan.
Located roughly 80 kilometers off the coast of Haifa in waters more than 5,600 feet deep, the Tamar field is expected to hold over 9.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In 2010, American energy giant, Noble Energy, signed an agreement with the Delek group to develop the field.