EMGC ’14: Noble Energy CEO sees global lure to Eastern Mediterranean gas

Managing Editor

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Day 1 of Gulf Publishing Company's Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference 2014 (EMGC 2014), which is taking place from March 11–12 at the Hilton Tel Aviv in Israel, began with a morning welcome from Gulf Publishing CEO John Royall, followed by a keynote address from Noble Energy Inc. Chairman and CEO Charles Davidson (photo 1)

Noble Energy is the largest operator in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Mr. Davidson opened his remarks by noting, "This is no longer just a regional opportunity; this is a global opportunity." He also provided a brief summary of regional discoveries and operations over the last 15 years for those attendees new to the region's "fast-moving industry."

Discovered reserves of 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas "open up a lot more things besides just domestic supply," Mr. Davidson said. "We're seeing opportunities to achieve and satisfy not only the demand of Israel, but now there are other countries in the region [looking] for opportunities ... This is an area of great change in a short period of time."

"This is only the beginning, however," Mr. Davidson added. "There are more opportunities to come, and [these opportunities], such as Leviathan, are of a scale that will require more than just domestic markets; they'll require other markets" around the world.

Mr. Davidson also spoke about the importance of regional support to the development of the Eastern Mediterranean gas industry. "Projects of this scale require certainty—certainty of policy, and of all the aspects that go along with it. That's the most important thing." The Noble CEO called for Israeli support and guarantees to develop regional resources, particularly the massive Leviathan field. 

However, "There's still a lot more exploration left to do," Mr. Davidson acknowledged. Export infrastructure must also be developed; along those lines, Noble Energy recently brought on Woodside Petroleum to explore opportunities for liquefaction and LNG export projects.

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