Israel: Court orders temporary halt of Leviathan operations

A court in Israel has ordered a halt on Noble Energy-operated Leviathan field operations pending a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Leviathan Platform / Noble Energy

The multi-billion-dollar gas development in the Mediterranean Sea is scheduled to start production within days. However, six local councils in Israel recently filed petitions against the Head of the Air Quality Division at Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the operator of the Leviathan project, Noble Energy regarding the air emission permit granted for the Leviathan rig.

The Jerusalem court on Tuesday granted an interlocutory injunction according to which, pending another decision, Noble Energy will be barred from carrying out on the Leviathan rig any activity that entails the emission of gases, and the Emission Permit will be suspended.

A preliminary hearing on the motion for an interim injunction is scheduled for Wednesday.

Noble Energy’s partner Delek said that based, inter alia, on an opinion of the legal advisors of the Leviathan project’s partners, the chances of the Interlocutory injunction being canceled are greater than 50% and the chances of the motion for an interim injunction and of the petition being dismissed are higher than 50%.

“Insofar as the Interlocutory Injunction is removed at the hearing today, the transport of the natural gas from the Leviathan reservoir is expected to begin shortly thereafter, and accordingly, no delay is expected in the planned timetables for commencement of commercial production, namely by the end of December 2019,” Delek said.

The ruling comes just days after Noble Energy and its partners Delek and Ratio said they’d met all conditions precedent for the export of natural gas to Egypt from the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields offshore Israel. More here: http://bit.ly/2EvGiH3


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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