Israel’s Delek Drilling and its US partner, Noble Energy, says the foundation of their rig for the Leviathan gas field has arrived, in the first stage of an ambitious project they say will wean Israel off coal and revolutionize its economy by turning it into an energy exporter.
The foundation, known as the platform jacket, is being placed around 10 kilometers (6 miles) off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. It arrived on a 180-meter (590-foot) long barge that sailed for a month from Texas across the Atlantic Ocean. The platform’s jacket, which took 18 months to build, is nearly 100 meters (330 feet) high and weighs 15,500 tons.
The topside of the platform is expected to arrive in the coming months and natural gas from the field is supposed to pump into Israel and its neighboring countries by the end of the year. Israel already has export deals signed with Jordan and Egypt, and it aims to build a pipeline with Greece and Cyprus to carry the gas to Europe.