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An American Energy Giant Sees Israel as a Springboard to Europe


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Six miles off the coast of Israel, beyond the brightly colored sails of wind surfers, an ungainly steel structure looms above the blue Mediterranean.

This 200-foot-tall stack of living quarters, tanks and pipes regulates and processes a torrent of natural gas from wells at the sea bottom around 70 miles farther offshore.

Largely because of Leviathan, as this gas field is known, Israel has far more natural gas than it can consume or its limited network of pipelines can hold.

“You can only shove so much into it,” said Jim Hebert, a Louisianian who manages the platform and its crew of around 120 people for Chevron, the American energy giant.

Chevron finds itself with a trove of gas on Europe’s doorstep that Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine has made more valuable. Flows of gas from Russia, long the continent’s main supplier, have plummeted as Moscow sought to use the fuel as an economic weapon, driving up prices last year and creating a rush to find sources of energy elsewhere.

The company’s Israeli operations are helping fill the need. Chevron exports sizable volumes to Egypt,…

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