Israel’s Energy Future


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Greece is ideally situated to serve as a hub for distributing Israeli gas to Europe, particularly since Turkey has rejected any notion of letting pipelines from Israel cross its territory. In return for giving Israel access to this market, Greece will earn much-needed revenue. Athens has yet to demarcate its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean, largely because Turkey has threatened war whenever it tried to do so. There are believed to be big, unexplored reserves of oil and gas east of the mainland and south of Crete. With Israel firmly in its corner keeping Turkey at bay, Greece has a powerful motivation to finally declare its EEZ and fully develop those resources, taking advantage of the Israeli experience in extracting hydrocarbons from the same Mediterranean environment.

This mutually beneficial relationship is so compelling that it has survived the fall of the Papandreou government. The first official from the coalition unity government headed by Lucas Papademos to visit Israel was the Energy Minister. Giorgos Papakonstantinou, and he came eager to talk about Israeli gas and Greece. It’s worth noting that not long ago, Athens was the font of some of the most vehement hostility to Israel in all of Europe.

Pipelines from Israeli gas fields to Greece will pass through Cyprus, and here too, Israel has been busy polishing relations and facing down Turks. The formation that contains the Leviathan field extends into Cypriot waters, and Noble Energy is busily drilling there now. Ankara has insisted that Turkish-occupied North Cyprus must take a share of any gas from Greek Cypriot waters, and threatened to send its navy to block the drilling. But Israel maintained a strong naval presence nearby, and the US, EU, and Russia, none of whom recognize Turkish Cyprus, all affirmed the right of Greek Cypriots to develop their resources. After getting carried away with bellicose rhetoric, the Erdogan government found itself completely isolated. Drilling south of Cyprus has proceeded since late September without incident.

The administration of Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias has discussed a security alliance with Israel, and the Israeli air force has carried out exercises over Cypriot airspace. Cypriots in general are eagerly embracing closer ties with Israel and the prosperity coming their way with the development of gas fields, pipelines, and gas liquefaction plants.

The Arab Spring has turned into winter, with Syria a slaughterhouse, tourists in Egypt fleeing chaos and Salafists, and Islamists taking power everywhere, even in Tunisia. Meanwhile, the elements of a Jewish Spring are being quietly put into place – energy security, a new strategic position as an energy exporter, dramatically improved relations with Greece and Cyprus, the prospect of better relations with every country that will buy Israeli gas, and the satisfaction of seeing hostile countries punish themselves in their attempts to punish Israel.

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  • UCSPanther

    Israel: Small but mighty, and will become mightier, especially with Greece and Canada on her side.

    Something for the assorted dictators, theocrats and oil sheiks of the ME to think about as their power erodes and chaos takes over.

    Turkey has shot itself in its collective foot after its decision to make Israel into enemies over a botched propaganda flotilla and its decision to rekindle old emnities against the Greeks…

    • ziontruth

      "Turkey has shot itself in its collective foot…"

      More like, in its collective head. And this, not by such particulars as the terrorism flotilla, but by the general decision to backslide into its Islamic past.

      If so for Turkey—the same Turkey as was dragged into modernity by Ataturk—then what hope for any other Muslim-majority state? None at all. That's why there can be nothing to the recent revolutions but an Arab springboard to Islamic theocracy, to turning state after state into a base for the worldwide jihad.

      • effemall

        I'm afraid your projections are realistic and our grandchildren will have to fight the Crusades all over again.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          I know this isn't a very pleasant subject, but nevertheless eventually the Middle East oilfields will have to be seized and occupied and the considerable unearned oil wealth of the Saudis and the Gulf State Emirs will have to be confiscated and taken away from them. Otherwise, they will simply continue using those resources permanently to wage jihad against the West per the dictates of Islam forever.

          It's not like we would be stealing those resources away from them out of greed. Instead, it would be an act self-defense and self-preservation. It's either we take those resources away from them, or otherwise they will use those resources to wage jihad against the West perpetually to make Islam supreme. We really don't have any other choice in the matter. It's either do or die.

  • Raymond in DC

    Those gas finds are only part of Israel's new energy reality. Massive quantities of oil shale have also been discovered on shore (virtually all within the 1949 borders), but extraction will involve new technology that will need to be proven. But if the pilot plant shows extraction can be done economically and with minimal environmental damage, this will change everything.

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      From what I understand, Israel HAS perfected a way to extract the oil from these
      oil shale deposits; that are located somewhere underneath the Bab_el Wad, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The extraction method doesn't use any water, and doesn''t harm the environment.

      • johnnywoods

        That is my understanding also as per Zion Oil and Gas.

  • Bert

    Israel is rightly making the most of this situation with offshore oil and gas. However, oil, gas, coal and nuclear are all obsolete energy sources and are ultimately transitional. Please go to http://www.byronwine.com and see cars running on ordinary tap water. Advanced energy technologies have been known for years but have been blocked by the global energy interests which could be put out of business.
    Water as fuel is only one among a number of breakthrough energy sources that use NO fuel. If, for example, the design of water-fuel technology were made public the world would be truly turned upside down. Those nations that rely on oil for major income would be devastated including Israel's enemies and Russia.
    The problem has been the total silence of the leadership class and the media and their refusal to investigate these technologies. I contacted the offices of 50 congressmen and senators of BOTH parties, the media, environmental organizations, etc. about these energy technologies. Incredibly NOT ONE of them showed any interest at all to even investigate. It does seem that the fix is in, not just in America but globally as well.
    Readers are invited to test this claim of a blackout for themselves. They will either get no response at all or, at most, a dismissal without any serious investigation.

    • johnnywoods

      The problem for Israel using water instead of hydro-carbons is that water is more scarce than petroleum unless you can use sea water but then the Palestinians will claim that Israel is stealing their water:)