EMGC ’14: Noble Energy CEO outlines Tamar, Leviathan development plans

Managing Editor

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Day 1 of Gulf Publishing Company's Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference (EMGC 2014) concluded with a well-attended gala dinner open to all delegates, and a closing keynote address offered by Noble Energy CEO Charles Davidson.

After Mr. Davidson took the podium, he lightheartedly joked that he was sorry his speech was keeping attendees from the steaming buffet tables, but that, luckily, the wine had already been served.

The executive proceeded to briefly cover the history of Noble Energy's operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the state of present developments undertaken by the independent, Houston-based energy company.

Rapid growth set to continue. Mr. Davidson expects Noble Energy's business to double in size over the next five years, particularly in terms of cashflow and reserves. Out of Noble's five major resource developments—the Denver-Julesburg basin (US), the Marcellus shale (US), the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (US), West Africa and the Eastern Med—all, with the exception of West Africa, are expected to witness a doubling of growth by the end of the decade.

Additionally, Noble Energy's customer base in the Eastern Med has more than doubled over the last two years, to approximately 15 buyers. The power generation market in the Eastern Med continues to grow.

"There are more and more ways to encourage customer growth and help [the companies] become more competitive," the CEO noted.

Noble Energy's continuing exploration and appraisal program in the Eastern Med predicts remaining potential of 3 billion (B) bbl of crude oil and 4 trillion cubic feet (cf) of natural gas. "Deepwater will be the 'name of the game' for the coming years," Mr. Davidson asserted.

Bright promise for Tamar. The executive then briefly discussed his company's Tamar and Leviathan field developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Tamar, a large resource that went from discovery to production in four years, has shown a strong performance.
The field's gas resource is "a great source of clean, low-cost energy for the state of Israel" and will substantially curb the country's need to expand its coal-based power plants, Mr. Davidson explained.

Additionally, low-cost gas from the Tamar development is expected to save Israel's economy $130 B in energy costs and reduce approximately 195 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Global aspirations for Leviathan. Mr. Davidson concluded his keynote with some details on the Leviathan development, which is about twice the size of Tamar. The field "is intended to not only supply gas to Israel, but also to move beyond that, for export," the CEO said.
Like Tamar, Leviathan is being designed for a very high level of reliability and uptime. Noble Energy is examining various options for Leviathan gas production and export, including the largest FPSO in the world, which would produce 1.6 Bcf of gas per day. The company is also studying a possible floating LNG project.

Such "giga-projects," as Mr. Davidson called them, "will allow Israel to develop from a local [gas] supplier to a regional supplier to a global supplier."

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