Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has received approval from the petroleum commissioner of Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources for the development of the Leviathan project offshore Israel, the company said in a news release.

The plan includes a subsea system that connects production wells to a fixed platform located offshore with tie-in onshore in the northern part of Israel. Noble said the fixed platform’s initial capacity is anticipated to start at 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) and is expandable to 2.1 Bcf/d.

Leviathan, which has an estimated 22 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas resources, is expected to provide a second source of supply and entry point into Israel's domestic natural gas transport system, while also delivering exports to regional countries, according to the release.

In addition, Noble said it has executed a gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) to supply natural gas from the Leviathan Field to IPM Beer Tuvia Ltd (IPM). Under terms of the GSPA, Noble Energy and the Leviathan partners will supply a gross quantity of up to 473 Bcf of natural gas to a new-build independent power facility over an 18-year term, or up to 72 million cubic feet per day. The company expects natural gas sales to IPM to commence at field startup.

According to the release, the price for the natural gas is linked to the Public Utility Authority Index and includes a firm floor price. Noble expects total gross revenues under the contract to be in excess of $2.5 billion. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.

As operator, Noble has a 39.66 percent working interest in Leviathan. Other interest owners are Delek Drilling, 22.67 percent; Avner Oil Exploration, 22.67 percent; and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) Ltd. Partnership, 15 percent.