Energean to Buy 45% Stake in Gaza Marine Field

Energean is ready to purchase a 45% stake in the offshore Gaza Marine gas field, pending approval by Palestinian and Israeli authorities, Reuters reported.

The chief executive of the Greek oil and gas company, Mathios Rigas, told Reuters on Thursday that the company was ready to buy the stake “if that is something the host governments approve”.

“We have proven we can get gas flowing quickly,” he said.

The Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) is currently the field’s sole owner. It is now looking for an operator and buyer for the 45% stake.

An anonymous official told Reuters that there are negotiations with several potential international operators.

“PIF and its partners are very keen and committed in accelerating the exploitation of Gaza marine,” the source said.

“The final decision will be made in coordination with the Palestinian government and for the best interests of the Palestinian economy.”

Under current plans, the gas would go to Israel’s Ashkelon natural gas terminal and from there to a Palestinian power plant in Jenin in the West Bank, the source added.

Israel has previously signaled support for the field’s development.

The field is a good opportunity for Palestine to increase its income and reduce dependence on foreign aid and Israeli limited energy supply. Yet, conflicts with Israel along with internal disputes, have delayed the field’s development.

Palestinian political disputes and conflict with Israel, as well as economic factors, have delayed plans to develop the field.

The field is located about 30 km off the Gaza coast between the giant gas fields Leviathan and Zohr in Israeli and Egyptian waters respectively. It possesses estimated reserves of over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the equivalent of Spain’s consumption in 2016.