Israel exported oil for the first time, sending a shipment to Europe from Energean Plc’s offshore Karish field.
While the country began sending natural gas abroad several years ago, it has never produced significant amounts of oil. The Karish deposit in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is Energean’s flagship project, and has been pumping gas since last year.
“The first ever lifting of an Israeli crude oil cargo has taken place at the company’s Karish field,” London-based Energean said in a statement. “The cargo has been sold as part of a multi-cargo marketing agreement with Vitol.”
Output from the field, located close to the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, became possible following a US-brokered deal reached in October between the two countries. Karish production has further boosted Israel’s gas industry, which has been a game-changer for a nation once reliant on imports.
Israel will remain a net importer of crude despite starting exports. Energean said it remained focused on gas, though “light sweet crude oil, responsibly produced,” is “very much in demand globally.”