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Shell, Statoil and ExxonMobil forgot to tell Noble Energy that the Arctic was to be the next hydrocarbon frontier. In an exceptional effort with several minority partners, the U.S. independent has upended plans of the Arctic-focused IOCs by making significant natural gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean’s Levant basin: Tamar (9.7 Tcf), Leviathan (17 Tcf) and Cypress A (5-8 Tcf). These discoveries will fulfill the domestic needs of Israel and Cyprus, and leave plenty of gas for LNG exports to adjacent markets in the European Union, which would be pleased to diversify its supplies away from pipelined gas from Russia and LNG imports from Qatar. Noble Energy is investigating development options that include a floating LNG (FLNG) facility with Woodside as its LNG partner, or a pipeline to Cyprus, where an LNG liquefaction plant would be built. Meanwhile, Eni has been awarded blocks offshore Cyprus in January 2013, in the hopes of extending Noble’s discoveries in adjacent blocks.
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