Chevron Shuts Down Natural Gas Platform Near Gaza Strip

Chevron, which has substantial natural gas investments in the eastern Mediterranean, said on Monday that it had temporarily shut down operations at one of its major natural gas platforms off Israel’s coast.

The company said it had shut down its Tamar platform, which is about 12 miles from the Gaza Strip, on instructions from Israel’s Ministry of Energy.

It is not the first time that unrest has caused the suspension of operations; during fighting in 2021, the Israeli government instructed Chevron to shut down Tamar.

“Our top priority is the safety of our personnel, the communities in which we operate, the environment and our facilities,” the company said Monday.

It said natural gas customers would continue to be served by another Chevron gas platform, known as Leviathan.

Natural gas fields off the Israeli coast provide fuel to generate about 70 percent of the country’s electric power.

Chevron has been working on plans to expand production at the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields, and to add pipelines to increase gas flows from Israel to Egypt, which indirectly exports Israeli output in the form of liquefied natural gas from facilities on the Mediterranean coast.

The fierce fighting could slow the pace of energy investment in the region, just as the eastern Mediterranean’s prospects as an energy center have gained momentum. Israel used to be one of the few countries in the Middle East without significant discovered petroleum resources. Now, natural gas has become a mainstay of its economy, cutting dependence on imported coal.