The Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) announced on Monday that it has been discussing the development of Gaza Marine Gas Field with Shell, Anadolu has reported.
Gaza Marine is about 30km off the coast of the Gaza Strip in the eastern Mediterranean; it is estimated to contain about 28 million cubic metres of gas.
British Gas bought the concession from the Palestinian Authority in 1999 but the development of the project has been on hold due to Israeli obstacles. Preventing the development of the project is part of the internationally-backed Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip. Shell bought the British Gas stake in Gaza Marine recently, and it is now the main developer of the field.
The Director of the PIF, Mohamed Mustafa, told Anadolu that the current discussions with Shell concentrate on accelerating the development of the project. He noted that there had been a study to connect a pipeline from the field to the sole electricity plant in Gaza. "The most important thing, though, is that we get Israel's permission for this pipeline because it crosses its land," he explained.
According to Offshore-technology.com, Shell holds a 90 per cent interest in the field. The stake will reduce to 60 per cent if the PIF and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) decide to exercise their options. PIF and CCC would subsequently hold 30 per cent and 10 per cent interests respectively.
The PIF is a sovereign Palestinian fund with capital of $800 million.