I’ve had some e-mails asking if the war in Gaza is a threat to Israel’s oil and gas exploration. The current on-shore efforts by Zion Oil & Gas in the north and Ginko in the Dead Sea region aren’t near enough to Gaza to be under any immediate threat related to this action. Off-shore gas exploration in the north isn’t affected for the same reason. And the long-term stability of gas fields off the coast of Gaza could only be improved by Israel ousting Hamas and working toward a sustainable peace in Gaza. Everybody, including British Gas, who works the field, Egypt, Gaza’s (and Israel’s) neighbor to the south and Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas agree on that one. So ‘does the current action in Gaza put oil and gas exploration and production in Israel at risk?’ The quick answer is ‘no,’ I don’t think so.
But everything is relative. Israel isn’t a very big country. Geographically it’s a little smaller than New Jersey and it’s population (a little over 7 million) is smaller than New Jersey’s (almost 9 million). Imagine New Jersey as an independent country surround by enemies and with a war on one of its borders. Israel is always under a potential threat from at least one of its neighbors and any military action anywhere in the country is going to affect the country and its people as a whole.
My friend, Richard Rinberg, CEO of Zion Oil, has two children in the Israeli military. Thankfully they are not at the tip of the spear in this current action, but many of the Rinberg family friends are. If you’re an Israeli, you’re affected by what’s happening in Gaza; it’s inescapable.
But, again, everything is relative. What’s also inescapable is the history of Israel’s greatest ally standing at her side. The US has stood by Israel since her re-birth in 1948. But I’m not talking about the US; Israel has a much older, much greater ally. Israel’s greatest military leader penned these words a long time ago: “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the G_d of Jacob protect you.”
He also reminded the Israeli people where to place their trust in national emergencies: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our G_d.” Israel’s king David was the leader who penned those words. You can read them in Psalm 20. If you want to say a prayer for Israel today, Psalm 20 is a good one.
As far as Israel’s oil is concerned? Israel’s G_d has that in hand as well.