Controlled by the Palestinian National Authority, the Gaza Marine field is located about 30 kilometers off the Gaza Strip coast and estimated to contain up to 35 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The Greek energy company Energean is discussing with the Palestinian Authority the development of natural gas fields offshore near the Gaza Strip, including Gaza Marine, according to the Jewish business newspaper TheMarker.
Energean, which is currently developing Israel’s offshore Karish and Tanin oil fields, declined to comment, saying that “developing Karish and exploring the blocks adjacent to it are our highest priorities.”
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TheMarker cited sources as saying that Israel’s Energy Ministry is keeping a watchful eye on the Energean-Palestine talks and that Israel may economically capitalize on all this.
“The matter has been under discussion in the government for a long time. If they develop the Palestinian reservoir and it’s connected to Israel it would create competition for Tamar [Israel’s single gas field currently in operation],” one of the sources said.
The source suggested that “whoever develops [Gaza Marine] will also want to sell Gaza gas to Israel.”
The sovereign Palestine Investment Fund remains the sole shareholder of the Gaza Marine field after Royal Dutch Shell said that it was giving up its 55-percent stake in the project in March 2018.
Gaza Marine is located 36 kilometers (22 miles) off the Gaza Strip at a depth of 610 meter (2,000 feet). The field is thought to contain between 30 and 35 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which is tantamount to Spain’s consumption in 2016.