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The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the Tamar field, which is located 90kms off Israel’s Mediterranean coast and was discovered in 2009, holds an estimated 284 billion cubic metres.
The Tamar field is being developed by a group that includes the U.S.-based company Noble Energy, which has a 36 per cent stake and Israeli companies Delek Group (31 per cent), Isramco (29 per cent) and Dor Alon (4 per cent).
In February, a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom signed an agreement for the exclusive rights to export liquefied natural gas produced from the Tamar floating LNG plant.
“We have made an important step to energy independence,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Another larger field, Leviathan, is expected to go online in 2016.
Until 2011, Israel was dependent on Egypt for 43 percent of its gas needs. The country generates about 40 percent of its electric power from natural gas.
Since a deal with Egypt to increase imports fell through and after the cross-Sinai pipeline came under numerous bomb attacks, Israel has turned to aggressive self-sustenance and the speedy exploitation of gas fields only recently discovered.