Calcalist Exclusive: Russian energy giant Gazprom may be on its way to Israel.
A team of Gazprom executives have reportedly scheduled three meetings with representatives of Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Energy and Noble Energy to discuss a potential future partnership in the exploratory Leviathan gas field.
Calcalist learned Wednesday that the Russian delegation included some 15 representatives headed by Gazprom Global LNG's Managing-Director Frederic Barnaud.
A Gazprom delegation visited Israel in 2011, when it held talks with the majority of the players in the local energy market.
Talks between the parties, held over two days, examined three partnership options: The first option will see Gazprom enter into a partnership in the Leviathan license. The cost of developing the field, which holds about 453 BCM of natural gas, by 2017 is estimated at $6-$8 billion. Introducing a new partner may provide additional funds needed to speed up development.
The second partnership option includes the purchase of gas from the Leviathan partnership in order to sell it in Middle East and the Far East markets, where Gazprom is seeking to cement its position. The Russian giant is reportedly eyeing a foothold in new markets, to make up for the possible loss of revenue in the European market, which is struggling with a recession.
The third partnership option may see Gazprom acquire gas thus becoming a license-partner to a joint liquefaction terminal and shared exports.
Currently, Noble Energy, the partnership's largest shareholder and its drilling contractor, is concluding the drilling of additional gas and oil appraisal wells at Leviathan.
Delek Energy declined to comment. Noble Energy offered a "no comment."
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