JERUSALEM, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Israel’s only commercial gas field is expected to resume production within 24 hours after a technical failure caused an almost week-long shutdown, the Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.
Supplies from the offshore Tamar natural gas field were halted last Thursday when a crack in an exhaust pipe was discovered during routine maintenance work by its operator, Texas-based Noble Energy.
“The flow of natural gas from the Tamar field is expected to resume tomorrow morning,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The maintenance work on Tamar, however, will continue until mid-October and gas supplies will at times during that period be limited to 50 percent, the ministry said.
The stoppage has taken a toll on the country’s power stations, which have been forced to turn to more expensive fuels to generate electricity.
State-owned Israel Electric Corp, the country’s main utility, said power production had remained stable, though it had been forced to use imported liquefied natural gas, diesel and fuel oil.
Tamar in the first half of 2017 produced about 4.9 billion cubic metres of gas. It is responsible for the majority of Israel’s power generation and also exports to Jordan.
The partners in the project, which alongside Noble include Delek Drilling, Tamar Petroleum, Isramco Negev and Alon Natural Gas Exploration, have said there were no safety or environmental risks from the rig failure. (Writing by Daniel Pleck, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch and Susan Fenton)