US supermajor Chevron has shut in its Tamar gas platform off the coast of Israel amid escalating violence in the region.

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Chevron confirmed it had shut in the platform under the instruction of Israel’s Energy Ministry, following an increase in hostilities this week between Hamas militants and Israel.

It comes as local Israeli media reports claimed Hamas's Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades on Wednesday had threatened to fire rockets at the offshore platform.

'Closely monitoring the situation'

"In accordance with instructions received from the Ministry of Energy, we have shut in and depressurised the Tamar platform," a Chevron spokesperson confirmed to Upstream.

"Chevron's top priority is the safety of our personnel, our facilities, the environment and the communities in which we operate. We are focused on the safe and reliable supply of natural gas in compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of Israel.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and focusing on the safe and reliable supply of natural gas for the benefit of the Israeli domestic market and to our regional customers.”

The Tamar field lies about 25 kilometres off the coast of Ashod, in a water depth of around 236 metres.

While operations at Tamar have been halted, the Chevron spokesperson confirmed production was continuing from the nearby Leviathan field.

“We are continuing to supply customers from the Leviathan production platform and working with customers and the relevant regulatory bodies to ensure that natural gas supplies continue in a safe and reliable manner," she said.

Chevron operates Tamar with a 25% stake and is partnered by Delek Drilling (22%), Isramco (28.75%), Tamar Petroleum (16.75%), Dor Gas (4%) and Everest (3.5%).

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Petroleum is set to take Delek’s share in the field, agreeing last month to pay $1 billion, plus further contingent payments of up to $100 million, for the 22% stake.

Shut in: Chevron has been ordered to take its Tamar platform offline by Israel's Energy Ministry amid an intensifying conflict with Gaza Photo: AFP/SCANPIX

Escalating violence

Tamar is located closer than Leviathan to Gaza, from where Israel’s army claimed around 1500 rockets had been fired towards Israeli cities this week.

This has also seen Israel carry out hundreds of air strikes over the Gaza Strip, while it has also ordered the mobilisation of thousands of additional troops to the Gaza border.

The Tamar platform lies approximately 25 kilometres off the city of Ashdod, along Israel's southern Mediterranean coast.

Since Monday, it has been reported that seven people in Israel have died, including at least one child, while the Associated Press cited Gaza’s Health Ministry as stating at least 69 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, including 16 children, as of early on Thursday.