A failure caused by a crack in a gas pipeline some 24 kilometers (15 miles) off the coast of Ashkelon is expected to lead to major shortages in the supply of natural gas across Israel over the coming week, the Ministry of Energy said in a statement Friday.
“Due to a malfunction discovered during preplanned maintenance work in the Tamar gas field, the supply of natural gas from the site has completely ceased,” the ministry said.
The Energy Ministry noted that there was no indication of pollution in the sea due to the malfunction.
In an emergency meeting held Friday morning at the Energy Ministry, representatives of Noble Energy, which runs the Tamar field, estimated that repair work would only be completed toward the end of next week.
Due to the failure, local power plants will be required to use alternative sources of fuel, such as coal and diesel, for longer periods of time, which may make it difficult to operate the plants on a regular basis and thus lead to power shortages, The Marker reported.
The use of alternative fuel sources will also likely lead to a hike in electricity costs for private consumers, according to Calcalist.