TEL AVIV, March 30 (RIA Novosti) – Israel moved a step closer to energy independence on Saturday when natural gas from a recently discovered offshore field began flowing for the first time, local media reported.
The Tamar field, which is located 90 kilometers off Israel's Mediterranean coast, was discovered in 2009 and holds an estimated 284 billion cubic meters, the Haaretz said.
"We have made an important step to energy independence," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
The larger Leviathan field is expected to go online in 2016.
The Tamar field is being developed by a group that includes the U.S.-based company Noble Energy, which has a 36 percent stake, and Israeli companies Delek Group (31 percent), Isramco (29 percent) and Dor Alon (4 percent).
In February, a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom signed an agreement for the exclusive rights to export liquefied natural gas produced from the Tamar floating LNG plant.