Some great news for a change – Impending Israeli Energy Independence

(“Moses turned in the right direction, after all” – G-d willing)

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=5608

See video below

The Start of Israel’s Energy Independence

Redacted from an extensive article by Jerome Gordon, New English Review

I noted that the mainstream media has neglected to inform the American public of Ha Shem’s great gift to Israel, the huge offshore natural gas fields about to begin production and the pilot tests of in situ oil extraction from the shale formation in the Shefla basin in 2013. Those Israel oil shale reserves might even rival those of Saudi Arabia. The development of these energy resources may enable Israel within this decade to become energy independent.

Those offshore gas and on-shore oil shale developments have the potential of making Israel an energy independent political power in the Middle East and player in the world energy markets. The energy developments could pour billions of royalty revenues into a newly authorized Sovereign Wealth Fund that might significantly enhance the country’s high tech driven growth. Most importantly it would also provide the funds to enable the IDF to meet the threats arrayed against it.

In the waning days of 2012, two key announcements of energy developments in Israel augur well for making 2013 the start of Israel’s drive for energy independence and wealth creation. On December 24, 2012, the high court in Israel turned down a petition that would have prevented the start of a pilot oil shale extraction project for Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), the subsidiary of NYSE-listed, Genie Energy, Ltd. (GNE). Note what this RTT report said about this Israeli high court decision:

The Supreme Court of Israel has rejected a petition filed by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense against various ministries of the State of Israel, Israel Energy Initiatives and another Israeli oil and gas company, seeking to cancel the regulations governing the permitting process of oil and gas exploration, and seeking to cancel the exploration license granted to Israel Energy Initiatives.

(Unfortunately, just as the EPA in this country is a deliberate destructive economic force, Israel has its own problems with this misguided, erroneously informed group of “environmentalists>”) jsk

… This development clears the way for IEI’s pilot tests in the Shefla basin. Dr. Scott Nguyen, Vice President for Technology at IEI in our published NER interview noted what will ensue given this important Israeli court decision: … “We will continue on a larger scale. Israel has enough resources to be fully independent. We could provide 250,000 barrels per day by the next decade. Towards the end of this decade, we will be able to deliver 50,000 barrels per day, and increase slowly to 250,000 barrels per day. This is a project that requires significant investment to reach that production target.”

… Nguyen’s IEI senior colleague Dr. Harold Vinegar, former chief scientist and a 30 year veteran of unconventional oil developments at Shell Oil in Houston, discussed their development at a Globes Israel Business Conference in mid-December 2012. Dr. Vinegar discussed why Israel’s oil shale formation lends itself to non-polluting oil extraction and the significance of the Shefla basin oil production technology. He noted why the start of natural gas deliveries from Israel’s offshore platforms is an important complement. The gas would be used to heat the shale for release of oil at an efficient market price of less than $40 a barrel – A veritable win-win situation.

… Next was the announcement of natural gas production from the Tamar platform located 24 kilometers offshore of Ashkelon in the Mediterranean Exclusive Economic Zone of the Jewish nation. The Tamar natural gas well cost the equivalent of $3 billion to develop. On December 30, 2012, Globes reported the start up Tamar production flowing onshore to Israel in April 2013:

… Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer, who revised upwards his 2013 growth forecast for Israel on the strength of gas production from Tamar. He added, “Natural gas will not only make electricity production more efficient, cleaner, and cheaper, it is a giant step toward freeing us from dependence on foreign energy sources, especially Arab oil. Although the reservoirs are located thousands of meters below the seabed, as far as the possibility of exploiting them is concerned, the sky’s the limit.”

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