A power outage overnight Monday at Israel’s offshore Leviathan rig triggered operators to burn off natural gas at the platform in a safety process that lit up the sky off the coast with a ball of the blaze.
Because of the incident, natural gas supplies from the platform had been stopped for several hours.
The burn-off at the rig, situated some 10 kilometers out to sea off Caesarea, was seen by coastal residents, some of whom said the roaring of the blazes woke them from their sleep.
The rig has come under criticism from residents, municipal authorities, and environmental teams that want the platform shifted further out to sea.
The environmental protection and energy ministries, along with rig controller Noble Energy, issued statements explaining the malfunction and the safety measures taken.
The Energy Ministry stated there was “an electricity outage on the field and a glitch that needed emptying the natural gas from the platform.”
The ministry stated the natural gas was burned off rather than injected into the air. It will probe the incident with Noble Energy and inform the general public of its conclusions.
Once all systems had been checked, the supply of natural gas was resumed, the corporate stated.
Natural gas supplies halted at around 3:30 a.m. and had been resumed at 7:45 a.m.