Noble, Delek Mull Over New LNG Terminal


Noble, Delek Mull Over New LNG Terminal

Noble Energy and Delek Drilling, the operators of the Leviathan offshore gas field in Israel, may add a floating LNG export terminal to their project if it proved commercially viable, S&P Global Platts reports, quoting the Israeli company.

“Liquefying the natural gas from Leviathan will enable us to transport it worldwide, thus reaching new export markets, mainly in Europe and in Asia,” Delek Drilling’s chief executive Yossi Abu.

If the partners decide to go ahead with a floating LNG facility, this would add to growing LNG export capacity that has already pressured international prices by creating excess supply, and has made it harder for some industry players to find the funding they need to build their LNG terminals.

Yet the Leviathan facility would not be among the largest ones, it seems. For now, Noble Energy and Delek are considering an annual capacity of between 2.4 and 5 million tons of LNG. To fund the project, the two would rely on a long-term charter contract with an LNG shipping company—Golar LNG or Exmr—and the company will undertake the funding, construction, and operation of the floating facility.

A recent report by RBC warned that the global glut in natural gas, including LNG, will remain until the middle of the next century as the United States continues to increase production and large-scale LNG projects in other parts of the world begin commercial production.

China is expected to become the world’s top LNG importer within the next five years, just as the U.S. becomes the largest exporter by 2024, with annual exports of over 100 billion cubic meters in that year. That, however, would only work out with stronger LNG prices and an end to the trade war that has stumped some LNG ambitions because of the lack of long-term import commitments, notably from Chinese importers.

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