April 22nd, 2013

And in other news…

Did you know that Israel appears poised to become a massive exporter of natural gas and oil? Seems that way:

Israel became energy independent on March 30, when the Tamar offshore gas field began pumping natural gas to Israel. In two to three years, when the Leviathan gas field comes online, Israel will become one of the most important producers of natural gas in the world. Moreover, in 2017, Israel will likely begin extracting commercial quantities of oil from its massive oil shale deposits in the Shfela Basin near Beit Shemesh.

Geologists assess that the field alone contains some 250 billion barrels of oil, giving Israel oil parity with Saudi Arabia. Chinese, Russian and Australian firms are lining up to sign contracts with Israeli energy companies. International analysts assess that Israel’s emergence as an energy power will have a stabilizing impact on the global economy and international security. Israel can end Asia’s oil and gas hunger. It can reduce European dependence on Russia. It will remove OPEC’s ability to dictate world oil prices through supply manipulation.

32 Responses to “And in other news…”

  1. Jamie Irons Says:

    Hmm… Maybe we’ll take another look at that “G_d’s favored people” notion…

    :-)

    The Israelis, at the very least, are G_d’s smarter people — smarter than us, anyway, in that their government seems to encourage them to use all their resources, human, capital, and natural.

    Jamie Irons

  2. Trimegistus Says:

    Expect Europe to suddenly discover they always loved Jews.

  3. George Sewell Says:

    Poetic justice, I’d say.

  4. David Yotham Says:

    I expect to see Turkey make a military/diplomatic push via Cyprus against this gas field. The consequences of Israel having so much wealth available on Turkey’s doorstep is much to tempting for Turkey’s ambitions towards becoming the seat for the Muslim Caliphate.

  5. Drogo Bunce Says:

    Anybody want to start a pool on when the first terrorist attack against the Tamar infrastructure occurs? The Saudis can’t be happy about this.

  6. sharpie Says:

    Israel has moved more radically to the right than any country in the world. –George Gilder, author, “This Israel Test.”

    Israel also solved a chronic water shortage problem by conserving, converting sewer and brackish water, and building huge desalinization plants.

    A template for the rest of the world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVjvkVNuM5A

  7. blert Says:

    The 2,000 year-old man assured me that Moses was a schmo — and that he should’ve turned right instead of left.

    ===========

    Your petro-story is old news around these parts.

    It does carry heavy implications for European attitude alignments — which always seem to follow their food bowl.

    Natural gas = ammonia fertilizer => food juice.

    The Persians and the Arabs have already found that their methane deposits are on the wrong side of the Suez Canal.

    Oh, well…

  8. ziontruth Says:

    Praise be to God, as always. The only downside is Israel will have to fight for those fields, because Muslims have a tendency to covet exactly that which is of most worth. The offshore gas field has already been claimed by the Islamonazi terrorist organization Hezbollah, while the proximity of Beit Shemesh to the ACJTs (the Arab-Colonized Jewish Territories, the ones Israel reacquired in 1967 but neglected to boot all the Arab settlers from) means the Arab Terrorist Authority will no doubt suddenly “discover” how it belongs to them, even if it’s within the international-consensus pre-1967 Israel borders.

  9. southpaw Says:

    Yes, I knew, but we’re in that business. My company, and other US companies are looking at selling a lot of equipment to them, so we benefit both ways.
    The political dynamics of that region should be very interesting. Their neighbors will probably be even more keen to expel the infidels. I’m wondering if they’ll join OPEC?

  10. Steve D Says:

    Call me crazy but doesn’t this make the a bigger target than ever for annihilation by opposing forces? shrug…

  11. Donkatsu Says:

    The “target” aspect with regard to both Turkey and other nations is precisely the reason that the israelis brought in the Russians as partners to market the gas. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324338604578328231939157040.html)

    Everyone knows what happens if you attack Vlad’s golden goose. The U.S. has yet to utter the slightest peep regarding Turkey’s threats against Israel’s gas development offshore. (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/turkeys-threat-to-israels-new-gas-riches)

  12. Sam L. Says:

    Gonna frost the Arabs.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    blert: I realize it’s old news. That, in a way, is part of my point—that I hadn’t heard of it till now. It certainly hasn’t been highlighted by the MSM, and yet it seems pretty important, at least potentially.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve D: I don’t think it matters. Israel is already about as big a target as I think it could get.

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    And gaspromwill let them?

  16. Donkatsu Says:

    Art,

    It is likely that Gazprom wants to make sure that this first Israeli LNG train sells its output in the higher priced Asian markets (Egypt willing), keeping it away from more competitive (i.e., lower priced) European markets.

    This move also helps to keep some other sources of natural gas (Iraq, among others) from having any first mover advantages in Europe.

  17. ziontruth Says:

    Neo (4:26 pm),

    Yeah, that’s my thought exactly. I’m a “given a lemon, make lemonade” type, so I definitely see Israel’s intractable position as a license to act like there’s nothing to lose, to make the hatred worthwhile. Now, if only my country’s leaders would get with the program instead of being the sniveling, apologizing cowards they tend to be…

  18. Artfldgr Says:

    Moderation is on?

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    [Name] Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  20. blert Says:

    Donkatsu

    My ‘take’ on the Gazprom deal is that it causes Israel to enter into the ‘methane cartel’ selling to Europe.

    Bucking the Russians provides absolutely no upside for Israel.

    And then, there are all those Jewish ‘hostages’ to fortune still inside Russia…

    And all of the defense industry sales now taking wing.

    Moscow is terribly behind on drones — Jerusalem is at the state of the art — essentially inventing the modern drone.

    I would be very, very, very, surprised to see LNG exports from Israel.

    1) Her assets are within pipeline distance to Greece and Italy — and Jordan.

    2) Those markets, alone, are enough to entirely tap the methane discovered.

    3) Stripping out ethane, ethylene and other volatile gases is easily done right in the open ocean — right at the production platform.

    4) LNG facilities are seriously expensive — and end up being ‘eaten’ by the producer of the gas — not the consumer.

    When taken together with Israel’s state-of-the-art desalination technology, these assets permit Israel to become the fruit basket of Europe. Her only serious rivals would be Spain and the New World.

    Next Stop: aquaculture. There are insane profits to be had by ‘farming’ Red Sea critters.

    I note that my ‘Gaza Island’ scheme has come to the attention of the authorities in Jerusalem. If it were not for the Wan, this mega project would already be moving ahead.

    [ In a nutshell: the Suez Canal is not enough to support expanded trade between China, India and Europe and America. It needs a twin -- a Negev Canal -- which ought to terminate in the Med with a built-up Gaza Island. (A causeway to connect, of course.)

    America finances, builds, leases for 99-years, the canal, proper. Gaza Island becomes an eastern Gibraltar.

    One Gaza Island replaces three USN task forces. Negev Canal pays off by transit fees. Negev and Suez form transit cartel -- and go to one-way traffic. (each)

    Egyptian armed forces scale down -- as no repetition of 1956 can happen.

    Desalination makes Sinai (North) a viable resort destination -- for Slavs -- the new market for upscale condos on the Med.

    Ticked off Arabs (aka Gazans) relocate to the bluffs over the Red Sea, (Jordan) where the weather beats the seacoast and new industries geared to the cross trade between India, China and Europe take root.

    Gaza has absolutely zero room for industrial, commercial or tourist expansion. Self-ghettoizing = perpetual punishment for future generations. Just say no.]

  21. Donkatsu Says:

    Blert,

    One more thing. It is significant that the Israelis chose to invite the Russians in. Obviously, they do not trust O with all their security issues.

    Looking at the logistics of LNG trade this keeps a lot of Gulf LNG out of Europe, redirected toward Asia, with Israel sheltering under the Gazprom pricing umbrella to some extent. An administration with any understanding of these issues would immediately realize that the Israeli gas can play the same role vis-a-vis Gazprom as would the Nabucco pipeline. But these guys do not care, cannot learn and are hobbled by their epistemic closure (thanks, VDH).

    O’s willful ignorance and hostility toward Israel reduces our role to military technology only, which is a two-way street these days.

  22. blert Says:

    Apparently some equate the LNG trade to the crude oil trade. Don’t.

    EVERY LNG terminal is constructed in tandem with a tanker fleet — and a gassification terminal at the delivery end.

    The very first I read of, Algeria to France, stayed at it for decades.

    Now that Franco is dead, France is most likely to get additional Algerian methane by way of Spain. The Spanish sub-sea link in already flowing… and the next leg to France is in the offing.

    LNG in the Gulf is, and has been, dedicated to Asia. The first, and still primary customer is Japan. Her landed and distributed cost for LNG is about 12 times that of the continental US.

    Japan’s first LNG link was with Indonesia. Connection to Iran has been on and off for decades. (Politics)

    Iran’s problem has been that she’s always further away and much more risky than all other suppliers. Even the prospect of selling to Pakistan is fraught with peril. Both players are broke.

    Other than the original LNG link to Algeria, Europe has never scaled up for LNG. Pipelines have ALWAYS been more economic.

    BTW, Italy is an energy bridge to Africa. The waters off the ‘boot’ are easy to transit. (sub-sea, that is) So much so, that by now both oil and gas pipelines make the crossing.

    Europe is simply not LNG friendly. Direct pipelines undercut LNG economics every time.

    In the longer run, the big story is Polish methane via fracking. Most of Poland sits on a massive bed of tight gas deposits. If Poland follows in American footsteps, she’ll end up with a hefty methane surplus.

  23. Mr. Frank Says:

    With the terror plot in Canada coming out of Iran, Israel may get Obama’s attention. Until Iran is sorted out, Israel will not be investing heavily in energy would be my guess.

  24. MBE Says:

    This is actually fairly old news – but who cares. Neo, the irony is so delicious I think you should repeat the story each month!

    Re the Russian connection: given Russia has a long term problem with Muslim separatists, Israel and Russia actually have a lot in common: Israel needs friends and support, and Russia needs expertise. It makes sense.

  25. jon baker Says:

    Joel Rosenberg was at our church a few weeks ago and speculated that oil and gas in Israel would eventually draw in her enemies for another attack-to get the oil and gas.

  26. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Fossil fuels markets are structured to a certain extent, modified by issues like distance and terrain, and politics.
    Nevertheless, to a certain extent, the product is fungible.
    The price will drop. Less money for the oil ticks.
    And Israel will be able to afford even more weapons without damaging their economy.

  27. model_1066 Says:

    OPEC is still around? Who knew? Haven’t heard anything about them in years.

  28. model_1066 Says:

    jon baker Says:
    April 22nd, 2013 at 10:22 pm
    Joel Rosenberg was at our church a few weeks ago and speculated that oil and gas in Israel would eventually draw in her enemies for another attack-to get the oil and gas.

    They wouldn’t attack to ‘get’ the resources, but to make it difficult for Israel to benefit from it. Without the technical expertise provided by the infidels, Israel’s enemies could never locate, extract or use hydrocarbons. Unless camels run on light sweet crude, of course.

  29. Gary Rosen Says:

    “Without the technical expertise provided by the infidels, Israel’s enemies could never locate, extract or use hydrocarbons.”

    Bingo.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    Up until somebody decides that profits are lower due to the inability to harass people on the world stage, and start a nuclear war between Israel and the Arabs.

    Some of those people even live here in the US and belong to the Left.

  31. James Says:

    If I was an Israeli enemy wanting to hinder their petro good fortune, I would first never admit Israels right to extraction regardless of the validity of their claim. Second I would open a an enviro front against the extraction and transport by court claims, protests, pressuring consuming entities. Third I would work diplomatically through sea laws etc, to deny shipping. Fourth terror attacks against shipping and receiving areas. You are going to see a world wide concerted effort against Israel (as if they’ve not had to deal with them before) along the lines of the so called “Palestinian Problem” , which has dragged on for 60+ years.

  32. Jim Says:

    Drill, Baby drill.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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