The unexpected shutdown for six days from 21 September of Israel’s only producing gas field, the 1bn cfd Tamar, has highlighted the importance of developing further gas discoveries.

Tamar was taken offline after scheduled maintenance work discovered a crack in a pipe leading to the ventilation pipe. This meant that the Tamar platform itself was shut down while operator, US firm Noble Energy, examined its options. The fastest and cheapest option was to solder the crack shut but Noble...