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US energy firm Noble Energy has stated that the company has already started to work on possibilities to launch an energy project between Turkey and Israel, regional powers who have recently normalized their ties.
The Texas-based Noble Energy possesses 36 percent share of the natural gas discovered in the Tamar field off Israel's Mediterranean shores in 2009. Company CEO Charles Davidson has said in a statement that the possibilities are being elaborated by the company to pipe the newly discovered Israeli gas to Turkey.
“We are targeting two-fold growth in the upcoming five years. We are planning to double our production as well as our reserves and cash flow,” Davidson said during his trip to Israel, while commenting on the company's outlook.
Prior to his visit to Israel, Davidson traveled to Greek Cyprus and said the company prefers first to liquefy the natural gas in plants on the island and then export it as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Greek Cypriot government stated in late March that they are seeking financial support to build energy infrastructure such as the facilities to convert the gas into LNG. Israel has suggested that Greek Cyprus build such a plant to process both Greek Cypriot and Israeli natural gas, the latter of which has been discovered in even bigger quantities in nearby waters.
Greek Cyprus reported its first natural gas discovery in December, when Noble Energy said it had discovered an estimated 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet in a block south of the island. Davidson said that the discovered gas reserves go beyond the needs of both Israel and Greek Cyprus and estimated that initial drilling, scheduled to begin in June, will last 75-90 days. He also said that economic difficulties in Greek Cyprus have not hurts gas operations on the island, and if anything, have even accelerated them.
Greek Cyprus signed a deal with Noble Energy in 2008 offering the US-based firm a right to explore the offshore block. Davidson also said that the company is looking for a strategic partner for drilling for the gas and that the firm has already discussed the issue with Greek Cyprus.