Israel signs $10 billion natural gas deal with Jordan

Deal will boost both Israel and Jordan’s economies; First energy export deal made by Israel; Deal to span over 15 years

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Israel’s gas consortium signed a historic agreement to provide Jordan with over $10 billion in natural gas. The agreement, signed on Monday, is Israel’s first energy export deal and will span over 15 years with gas deliveries from Israel’s Leviathan gas field to began as early as 2019.

Investors in Leviathan, the largest of which are Noble Energy Inc., and Israel’s Delek Group, have been in talks over the agreement with Jordan for the past year. Head of Noble Energy’s Israel Branch, Binyamin Zomer, described the benefits the deal will have on Israel’s economy, environment and relations with Jordan. He stated “Signing this contract is historic in terms of what it means for the development of the oil and gas industry in Israel, the positive impact it will have on our economy, environment, and energy security, and, more importantly, the positive impact this industry in general, and Leviathan in particular, will have on our relationship with our neighbors.”

According to Delek’s CEO Yossi Abu, the gas deal is just the start of new trade and improved diplomat relations in the region. He stated that by “supplying natural gas to Jordan will enable our neighbors in Jordan to benefit from efficient, clean and cheap energy, just like the citizens of Israel. It will contribute to the prosperity of Israel and Jordan and will strengthen ties and active partnerships between the two. The Leviathan consortium will continue to push forward additional deals including with Egypt, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority.”

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated that the deal serves as an “important milestone in strengthening the ties and strategic partnerships between Israel and Jordan and the entire region.”

The agreement will provide Jordan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas over 15 years. A previous deal was made with Jordan in 2014 with Noble Energy for gas exports from Israel’s Tamar gas field which will begin this year.

Israel’s Leviathan gas field holds a reported 22 trillion cubic feet of gas, its Tamar gas field holding over 7 trillion cubic feet, making Israel the largest and most sought-after natural gas supplier in the region.

In February, Israel, Greece and Cyprus announced the creation of a regional trilateral committee to increase cooperative agreements and relations in the fields of energy, tourism, technology and research, mainly that of the construction of a pipeline for gas exports from Israel’s gas reserves to Cyprus and Greece.