- Israel has just signed a $500 million deal with Jordan to export gas to her Arab neighbor.
- The news comes just days after the completion of a major deal with Australian company to invest in Israel’s LNG gas exporting capacities.
- It also comes amidst rumors that Turkey is interested in signing a deal with Israel.
- The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Egypt’s new leaders are interested in buying Israel natural gas, too.
- Perhaps most intriguing is that Russia is also trying to invest in Israel’s booming gas industry, and possibly influence Israeli gas policy, despite Russia’s ever-closing ties with Iran.
For Israelis, it is a long-held dream coming true. It may also prove to be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
“A recently-released report by the U.S. Department of Interior indicates that Israel has massive reserves of natural gas and oil supplies just offshore, lying under the Mediterranean,” I noted in a 2010 column. “‘The U.S. Geological Survey estimated…122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Levant Basin Province using a geology based assessment methodology,’ stated the report’s executive summary. Israelis for years have lamented that if God wanted to bless them with a ‘promised land’ He could have given them the oil-rich Arabian peninsula. Thus the report has become big news in the Israeli media and the energy industry. Several oil and gas companies are already at work there and have made more modest discoveries in recent years. But this is by far the biggest development to date and some reports indicate Israel could begin using the natural gas — and possibly exporting it — within two years….What intrigues me is that such developments are consistent with several Bible prophecies that indicate petroleum will be discovered in Israel in the last days, adding to the nation’s prosperity. For more details, please see Chapter Five of my 2006 non-fiction book, Epicenter: ‘FUTURE HEADLINE: ISRAEL DISCOVERS MASSIVE RESERVES OF OIL, GAS.'”
>> For more details, see also this blog column in 2013: Game-changer: Israeli natural gas began flowing today. Dawn of “energy independence.” Prophetic, too?
Excerpts from: “Israel-Jordan sign $500 million natural gas deal: Accord may grow into $30-billion partnership for Israel to become Jordan’s main supplier; deal with Turkey also possible” (Times of Israel)
- Israeli and Jordanian officials signed a deal Wednesday under which Israel will supply $500 million worth of gas to the Hashemite kingdom from the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean.
The supply is set to start in 2016, and to continue over a 15-year period. Ultimately, however, the deal may be expanded to a $30-billion mammoth partnership, under which Israel would become the major supplier of Jordan’s gas needs, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported.
It said that a key broker of the deal was Amos J. Hochstein, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for energy diplomacy, a child of Israeli parents, who made 14 visits to Jordan to help pave the way for the agreement. The TV report said Israel’s President Shimon Peres also helped the deal along.
Under the deal, Tamar will supply 66 billion cubic feet to Jordan’s Arab Potash and its affiliate, Jordan Bromine, at their facilities near the Dead Sea, according to a statement issued by Texas-based Noble Energy, which owns 36 percent of the Tamar field.
Amos Hochstein (Photo credit: US State Department)
The Jordanians turned to Israel because their supply of natural gas from Egypt had been halted by repeated terrorist attacks on the gas pipeline from Egypt, the TV report said.
Israel decided last year to export 40 percent of the country’s offshore gas finds.
In March 2013, Israel began pumping natural gas from the Tamar deposit — discovered in 2009 and located some 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Haifa — which holds an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
In addition to Tamar, in 2010 an even larger deposit, Leviathan — which boasts an estimated 16-18 trillion cubic feet of gas — was discovered 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa. It is expected to become operational in 2016.
The decision on gas exports grew out of conclusions published by the Tzemach Committee headed by former Water and Energy Ministry director general Shaul Tzemach. The committee, formed in late 2011, had called on Israel to keep the first 450 billion cubic meters for domestic use, and allow the export of up to half of any additional amount extracted from the proven reserves.
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