exploration and production in
the middle east

For the latest figures, view the 2020 Supplement to the Annual Report.

In the Middle East, Chevron is growing and innovating in countries where we have historic roots and in those where we have new interests. Assets in the Eastern Mediterranean added in the 2020 acquisition of Noble Energy help provide nearly three-quarters of Israel’s electricity. We are also the only global energy company to have a continuous presence in Saudi Arabia spanning nearly 90 years.

Chevron made the first two major discoveries here – in Bahrain in 1932 and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1938 – and today, we continue to play an important role in this energy-rich region. Partnership, technology transfer and organizational capability were the pillars of our success in the 1930s, and they continue to shape our present and future.

historic steps towards energy independence

Chevron has a 39.66 percent-owned and operated interest in the Leviathan gas field located some 80 miles (130 km) offshore from Haifa. Covering approximately 49,000 net acres (198 sq km) Leviathan is Israel’s largest energy project.

The field delivered first gas in 2019. In 2020 production ramped up, averaging 242 million net cubic feet of natural gas per day (64 million cubic feet per day attributable to Chevron).

We also have a 25 percent-owned and operated interest in the Tamar gas field just east of Leviathan. In 2020, net daily production from the Tamar Field averaged 173 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (51 million cubic feet per day attributed to Chevron). Progress continues on the Tamar SW development, which consists of one well tied back to Tamar. The lease for this field covers approximately 15,000 net acres (62 sq km).

Together, Leviathan and Tamar supply around 70 percent of Israel’s electricity, enabling a transition from coal to gas which in turn is lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality. These projects have helped Israel move towards energy independence and created a supply hub within the broader region.

Wherever we work, we strive to empower people to improve their lives. In Israel, we aim to meet the nation’s training needs by helping to develop technological and professional know-how for Israel's natural gas industry.

In 2014, we began a partnership with Ruppin Technological College to establish a knowledge and study center for energy and natural gas disciplines.

The center trains practical engineers and students in a variety of fields for careers in the energy and natural gas sector. Most of its graduates have gone on to work in Israel’s flourishing energy industry — at Chevron or in other companies and organizations — as practical engineers, technicians and in other capacities.

building on our past

In 1949, we signed an agreement with the kingdom to operate its 50 percent interest in the hydrocarbon resources of the onshore Partitioned Zone (PZ), an area between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. This agreement continues until 2039.

Difficulties in securing work and equipment permits and a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have affected our PZ operations, stopping production in 2015. In December 2019, the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding to resolve the dispute. Pre-startup activities began in February 2020, and we expect production to ramp up to levels produced before the shut-in within one to two years.

Meanwhile, we are making progress on proving the technical and commercial feasibility of applying enhanced oil recovery (EOR) steamflooding technology to produce the heavy oil of the Eocene carbonate reservoirs at the massive Wafra Field, in the PZ. In 2013, the Wafra large-scale steamflood project reached thermal maturity, a milestone that demonstrated that the numerous technical challenges with the carbonate formation can be managed successfully.

With the application of Chevron’s heavy oil thermal EOR technologies, Wafra could one day be the world’s largest steamflood development.

Relying on our century of experience in developing steamflood applications in California and Indonesia, we look forward to working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to unlock the value of Wafra’s resources.

One of the largest land 3-D seismic survey programs ever undertaken was completed in the PZ in 2016. Processing and interpretation of the survey, which covers the entire PZ, has been completed, and work to mature several exploration prospect continues.

a new exploration frontier

In 2012, we expanded our presence in the region when we became a participant in the exploration for and development of the oil and gas resources in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). We currently operate and hold a 50 percent contractor interest in the Sarta Block. Construction on the Sarta Stage 1A project began in mid-2019, and first oil is expected in the second half of 2020. Chevron also has a 40 percent nonoperated interest in the Qara Dagh Block, where an exploration well is planned for the third quarter of 2020.

To help meet the basic human needs of families displaced by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Chevron has contributed about $2 million through Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee in the KRI. In addition, we have spent more than $2.9 million to improve the health and education of families living near our KRI drilling operations and to help them establish small business enterprises.