Discovered in the Mediterranean Sea in 2010, the Leviathan field is one of the largest and most significant deep-water natural gas discoveries in the world in the first decade of the 21st Century.
The vision of Eitan Aizenberg, Ratio’s Chief Geologist, and of the Landau and Rotlevy families, regarding hydrocarbons potential in deep-water offshore Israel, led Ratio to apply for the “Ratio-Yam” preliminary permit, which was awarded in 2007 and extends over an overall area of c. 2,897 square kilometers, 130 km west of Haifa.
During 2008, Noble Energy (as operator), and the Delek Drilling and Avner partnerships joined the preliminary permit, which became the Amit, Rachel, Eran, David and Hanna licenses.
At the end of 2010, the Leviathan discovery was declared and became a cornerstone in realizing the State of Israel’s vision of reaching energy independence. Leviathan will be able to meet Israel’s natural gas demand for decades to come, alongside the option to export the gas to international markets.
According to NSAI’s independent Reserves and Contingent Resources report, the Leviathan field contains Proves (2P) and Contingent Resources (2C) of c. 22.8 TCF of natural gas and c. 41 million barrels of condensate. Due to its huge volume of natural gas, the Leviathan field is an anchor supplier for the domestic and regional energy markets and a significant economic growth engine for the State of Israel and its citizens.
In early 2017, Ratio and its partners in Leviathan signed a final investment decision (FID) for development of the first stage (Phase 1A) with a budget of c. USD 3.75. The development of the Leviathan field is the largest private infrastructure project ever conducted in Israel. This development was completed at the end of 2019, on schedule and with budgetary savings of c. USD 200 million.
Phase 1A comprises four subsea wells, each with a production capacity of over 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) of natural gas. The produced natural gas is transmitted from the wells via two 115 km pipelines to a fixed platform located c. 10 km offshore, with a production capacity of c. 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) )12.4 BCM/y(.
From the Leviathan platform, the gas pipeline is routed via Dor beach to the national gas transmission infrastructure of INGL (Israel Natural Gas Lines), where it is distributed to domestic customers or exported to Egypt and Jordan.
Israel’s demand for natural gas is expected to grow significantly during the current decade due to several key factors: 1. Continued growth in electricity demand; 2. Reduction of coal usage for electricity generationfollowing the Ministry of Energy’s decision to terminate the use of coal by 2025; 3. Transition of industrial plants to natural gas usage; 4. Transition of the transportation sector to G and electricity usages; 5. Special projects such as desalination plants, railway electrification, petrochemical projects, etc.
In recent years, the Leviathan partners, including Ratio, have signed two significant export agreements: The first is with the National Electric Power Company of Jordan (NEPCO) for the supply of c. 45 BCM of natural gas over a period of 15 years.
The second export agreement is with Egyptian company Blue Ocean for the supply of c. 60 BCM of natural gas over a period of 15 years. The Leviathan partners have also signed several natural gas sales agreements with customers in the domestic market, including Israel Electric Corp. (IEC), the IPM power plant, Paz Refinery, ICL, Edeltech, Delek Sorek, Or Energies, and more.
As of October 2020, the Leviathan partners have domestic and export agreements in place for the supply of a total of c. 145 BCM of natural gas.
DSMX – A DSMX modification, can increase the Leviathan platform’s annual production capacity to 16 BCM. This will require drilling additional wells and laying an additional pipeline from the gas field to the platform.
Phase 1B – This development plan enables further expansion of Leviathan’s production up to an annual capacity of c. 21 BCM. This phase will require the drilling of four additional wells, laying an additional pipeline from the gas field to the platform and upgrading the platform and the existing facilities.
Subject to the implementation of the DSMX alternative and to obtaining regulatory approvals, the annual production capacity from the Leviathan field may be increased from 16 to 24 BCM.
Two prospects have been identified beneath the Leviathan gas field, at a depth of more than 7,000 meters below sea level:
In light of the new findings, the Leviathan partners are considering conducting a new seismic survey in order to refine the existing data, which may lead to a future decision to undertake possible exploration drilling down to the new targets.
In October 2019, Ratio, together with British companies Cairn and Pharos, won a Ministry of Energy tender for two zones, each of which comprises four exploration licenses:
Zone A comprises licenses 39, 40, 47, 48
Zone C comprises licenses 45, 46, 52, 53
Upon receiving the licenses, Ratio, together with its partners, began a geological analysis as well as technical and commercial testing of the resource’s potential in the licenses.
This exploratory new venture is in line with Ratio’s business strategy of expanding its activities in the Levant Basin.