Jackpot! Israel on Cusp of Energy Revolution

July 11, 2011 by  

Julie Stahl, CBN News Mideast Correspondent

JERUSALEM, Israel — Unrest in the Middle East is threatening Israel’s energy supply.

But recent natural gas discoveries and extracting oil from shale could make the country energy independent just in the nick of time.

Energy Breakthrough?

Some are calling it a potential energy revolution.

Off the coast of Israel in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, explorers have found what is being called the largest offshore gas reserve in the world and the biggest find in a decade.

The discovery is a major development because Israel has long been the one Middle East country without its own oil and gas resources.

“The joke was ‘Why did it take Moses 40 years to bring the people of Israel from Egypt to Israel? Because he looked for the only place in the Middle East that lacked oil and gas,’” said Gideon Tadmor, CEO of Delek Energy.

“So that was the joke. But we proved the joke to be wrong, and actually we know that Moses brought us to the right place,” he added.

Delek Energy and its American partner, Noble, are behind the discoveries that will start producing natural gas for customers in 2015.

Energy expert and former CIA director James Woolsey says the gas fields make Israel energy independent.

“They’re extraordinarily important and strategically very advantageous I think for Israel,” Woolsey told CBN News.

Shale Oil

In addition to natural gas, it appears the Jewish state is also rich in oil shale– a fine-grained rock which can be used to produce oil through a special process.

Harold Vinegar, chief scientist with Israel Energy Initiatives, says the amount of oil shale buried here might equal the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

“We think it’s conservatively estimated at about 250 billion barrels of oil contained in the Israeli oil shale – probably the second or third largest deposit in the whole world,” Vinegar said. “And it has a tremendous potential to make an oil industry here.”

Experts say there’s enough oil shale to produce at least 50,000 barrels of oil a day – enough to meet Israel’s military and civil aviation needs for 25 years.

Israel Energy Initiatives is now performing quality tests.

Vinegar, who was also a chief scientist for Shell, says the samples indicate the oil quality to be very high before it’s even refined.

As the world population increases, so will the demand for crude, and that will push up the price.

In response, countries like Israel that import most of their energy will have to develop unconventional resources like oil shale.

“There’s nothing scarier than running out of energy,” Vinegar said. “I mean, wars have been fought entirely for oil. And so this is something we feel we’re doing for Israel, which is to develop the oil shale here.”

If his group’s plans work out, the land of Israel will hold even more promise for the future.

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5 Responses to “Jackpot! Israel on Cusp of Energy Revolution”

  1. James on July 13th, 2011 6:21 pm

    These recent oil & gas finds only confirm God’s promises to Israel .One scripture plainly states that God is not a man that he should lie…(Numbers 23:19) and recently i read psalms 89:20-34. What caught my attention is verse 34 , where God cleanly swore that he would never break his covenant with David and his descendants,nor ALTER his word concerning him.Technology is making things sweeter by the hour! …May God bless all those who are involved in helping to shape the economic,social and spiritual destiny of Israel!

  2. Robert Harry on July 13th, 2011 6:24 pm

    God knew you would find the resource that would make you independent from the Arabs and Islamist.

    I am an international Petroleum Engineer that is jumping for joy at this set of discoveries find that will make Israel the power it should be.

    God and the United States will protect you from evil.

    Robert Harry PE.

  3. Bill Baker on July 14th, 2011 2:19 pm

    The stock is taking a bit of a beating, I bought more.

  4. ronnie d sutton sr on July 15th, 2011 10:23 am

    I’m pleased to hear this great news

    God Bless Israel
    ////////////////////////////////////////////// Ron //////////////////////////////////////////

  5. Geoff on July 16th, 2011 8:14 pm

    Does any reader have an opinion about the Gaza Marine gas discovery offshore Israel-Palestine? Who has jurisdiction over this gas field of 1.4 tcf?

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