Noble Energy’s natural gas discovery off of Israel’s northern coast has changed Israel’s energy future. Noble’s Tamar field now has estimated gas reserves of 5 trillion cubic feet and an estimated daily production rate of 30 – 150 million cubic feet per day. This field alone is enough to power Israel’s energy needs for the next 20 years.
Because of the infrastructure required to transport the offshore gas to market, production won’t be online until 2012. But that time frame coincides with Israel converting the country’s oil and coal fired electrical generating plants to natural gas. Even then, Israel should have enough natural gas to become an energy exporting nation.
Energy trouble is already brewing with Israel’s neighbors. Israel has also taken a tremendous amount of world criticism by not buying natural gas from fields off the Gaza coast and blocking the sale of Gaza gas to Egypt because they know that at least some of the money from Gaza gas sales will go into funding further Hamas arms purchases. By buying Gaza gas, Israel would, in effect, be funding Hamas terrorism.
Now, Reuters reports Lebanese official, Mohammed Kabbani stating, “‘Noble Energy’s find proves that the (Lebanese) shore is rich in gas and that there is a possibility that we have a common basin, between Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian territories ….’ [H]e feared that Israel ‘can extract mounts of gas from the depths of Lebanon’s territorial waters if there is a common gas basin. If that basin extends to Lebanese waters, then we want to warn this company from infringing on our rights,’ Kabbani said, adding the parliamentary committee had requested the government take action.” (full article)
Notice Kabbani’s use of “Occupied Palestinian territories” rather than ‘nation of Israel’. If Israel’s neighbors won’t even recognize her right to exist, what makes us think they will recognize Israel’s right to her own gas and oil discoveries? When Israel discovers oil on-shore, I guarantee you, the anti-Israel world will claim the discovery is an encroachment on ‘Palestinian’ resources and demand that Israel cease production (which, of course, she won’t do) until a world court can ‘sort out’ who is really entitled to the oil. Israel is accustomed to the neighbors claims that she is squatting on her own land and she is growing accustomed to world opinion continually biased against her. But the oil and gas within her geographical boundaries and territorial waters are a part of the inheritance G_d gave her father Jacob, and that inheritance does have an expiration date. Complaints and false claims against Israel have been a part of her reality since May 14, 1948; they’ll increase exponentially on the day she becomes energy rich, that’s a given. Israel must and will stand firm in the midst of blessing as she always has in the midst of struggle. We must stand with her.
Zion Oil drilling at the Ma’anit Rehobeth #2 reaches beyond 12,000 feet. Zion reports that, as of quitting time Thursday, their drill bit was at 12,630 feet – 1310 feet deeper than the last report. In the 2005 Ma’anit #1 well Zion began seeing hydrocarbon shows at 12,000 feet. Zion’s full report is below.