UPDATE 1-Gas production at Israel’s Leviathan halted over “operational event”

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JERUSALEM, May 23 (Reuters) – Production at Israel’s offshore Leviathan natural gas field was halted on Saturday following an “operational event”, the project’s operator Noble Energy said, adding that there was no environmental impact expected along the coast.

It said the platform’s flare system had been activated to burn off excess gas, generating a flame visible from shore. Israel’s Energy Ministry described the incident as an “emergency closure” of the platform and said further details were pending.

Leviathan, one of the largest gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, is owned by Texas-based Noble, Israel’s Delek Drilling and Ratio Oil.

It came online at the end of last year and provides gas to Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

“Noble Energy has updated the relevant officials and is working to renew the supply of gas as quickly as possible. It noted that no environmental impact to the shore is expected,” the company said in a statement. (Writing by Dan Williams Editing by Ari Rabinovitch and Peter Graff)

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