The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Israel — One of the world’s largest energy producers?

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In Tablet Magazine, Lee Smith writes about recently discovered oil and gas fields:

The Tamar field, discovered in 2009 roughly 50 miles off Haifa, is estimated to contain 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, while the Leviathan field, discovered further west in June 2010, is double that at 18 trillion cubic feet, one of the largest offshore finds in the last decade. And yet much more important, a former Royal Dutch Shell chief scientist who’s now chief scientist for Israel Energy Initiatives “has devised an ambitious plan that would, if successful, turn Israel into one of the world’s leading oil producers,” according to an Energy Tribune report earlier this year. It turns out that the oil-shale deposits in Israel’s Shfela Basin, 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem, hold some 250 billion barrels of oil—roughly equal to Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves. In other words, Israel may well become a player in the highly competitive field of energy-producing nations, which includes Hezbollah’s patron, Iran.

Smith goes on to explore the geopolitical consequences of such a development:

And if Israel were capable of fulfilling Europe’s energy needs for even a decade (though some estimates suggest more like 20 years), that would change Europe’s diplomatic and political position. European intellectuals can scream about Israeli checkpoints as much as they want, but no European leader whose poll numbers might someday depend on affordable energy coming from Israel will be likely to cross Jerusalem. Iran will not only have less leverage over Europe if and when Israel can develop its field, but the Islamic republic will even lose the little advantage it has over Israel.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

July 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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