Israel decided to halt production at Tamar, which lies within the range of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, after continuous attacks from Hamas, and authorised Energy Minister Yisrael Katz to order a state of emergency for Israel's energy sector, if necessary
Israel has halted production at the Tamar gas field and is seeking alternative fuel sources to cater to its needs, following three days of violence in the region.
Israel halts production at the Tamar offshore platform. (Credit: Ben Wicks on Unsplash)
US-based oil and gas company Chevron, which operates the field, confirmed the shutdown of the field, which is the primary source of gas to Israel’s power generators and industry.
Israel’s Ministry of Energy instructed the company to shut down the Tamar production platform, while the nearby Leviathan platform continues to supply Israel with natural gas.
In 2020, Chevron acquired assets in both the Tamar and Leviathan fields, as part of its $12bn merger with Houston-based Noble Energy.
Chevron, in its statement, said: “Chevron is focused on the safe and reliable supply of natural gas for the benefit of the Israeli domestic market and our regional customers.
“Our top priority is the safety of our personnel, the communities in which we operate, the environment and our facilities.”
Tamar is located around 25km off Israel’s southern Mediterranean coast and is within range of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, as it can be seen from northern Gaza on a clear day.
It is jointly owned by Chevron with a 25% stake, Isramco with a 28.75% stake, UAE’s Mubadala Energy with an 11% interest, Union Energy with an 11% stake, Tamar Petroleum with a 16.75% stake, Dor Gas with a 4% stake and Everest with a 3.5% stake.
Israel’s decision comes after armed militants from Hamas broke fencing from Gaza and intruded into Israeli territory, killing and captivating civilians as hostages.
In a separate statement, the energy ministry said that the government authorised Energy Minister Yisrael Katz to order a state of emergency for Israel's energy sector, if necessary.
Israel’s Energy Ministry said: “In the wake of the situation, Israel's defence establishment ordered the temporary suspension of natural gas supplies from the Tamar field.
“The economy's energy needs will be supplied by alternative fuels. The power industry is preparing to use alternative fuels to power its stations.”