Oil Majors See Huge Opportunity In Eastern Mediterranean

21 Apr 2017   Cyprus, Israel, Oil Supply

Quite suddenly, there is remarkable oil industry news to come out of the East Mediterranean region. If the plan is executed, in the space of seven years the balance of energy security in Western Europe will be radically changed. In geopolitical terms, this will be immense; when the planned Israel-Cyprus-Greece-Italy gas pipeline is built, European countries will be able to cut their ever-increasing dependence on Russian gas supplies. The story of major gas discoveries in the East Mediterranean started in the shallow-water offshore Egypt, with Miocene Nile Delta discoveries progressively stepping out into deeper and deeper water. The first discovery was made by Phillips Petroleum in 1969, when it drilled the play-opening Abu Qir 1 NFW. It discovered gas in the Messinian Abu Madi sandstones. Subsequent exploration was led by the likes of AMOCO, BG, BP, Eni and Shell. There are now over 100 mainly gas and wet gas […]

U.S. Lawmakers Back Measures to Protect Israel By Punishing Iran

29 Mar 2017   Iran, Israel

Aiming to prove their commitment to Israel, senior U.S. lawmakers are backing bipartisan legislation that would slap Iran with new sanctions while maintaining rigorous enforcement of the landmark nuclear deal. The measures, unveiled ahead of the opening of the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, seek to build consensus among Republicans and Democrats who are so often bitterly at odds on domestic issues. “The United States will stand with Israel,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the conference Tuesday. But the Kentucky Republican criticized the nuclear agreement as a “windfall” for Tehran that prevented the U.S. from taking more aggressive steps against Iran. “But today we can take a different approach,” McConnell said. “Today, we can combat Iran’s capability to fund, arm, and train terrorists like Hezbollah, Hamas, and its proxies in Syria.” In exchange for Tehran rolling back its nuclear program, the U.S. […]

Should Israel Fear The Peak Oil Crisis?

4 Mar 2017   Israel, Peak Oil

Conventional wisdom suggests that the world economy is in a slow but steady recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. Some economists, however, including Nafeez Ahmed , author of several books including “ A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It ,” are sounding the alarm about a looming global redux of that crisis rooted in natural resource scarcity, particularly oil. This alarming scenario, outlined by Ahmed in a recent article on Medium titled “Brace for the Oil, Food and Financial Crash of 2018,” foresees in 2018 a terrifying confluence of expensive oil, spiking food prices, a debt-fueled financial crisis, and depressed economic growth, with all of the attendant socio-political tensions we have seen in recent years accelerating. Think Trump, Brexit and the Arab Spring meet stagflation. Could this be bad news for Israel, in its arid, oil-drenched, and politically fragile neighborhood? Let’s consider for […]

Design work completed for giant Israeli gas field, Leviathan

3 Mar 2017   Israel

Wood Group, which provides services for energy producers and explorers, said it’s completed design work for the giant Leviathan gas field offshore Israel. The company said it completed its seven month front end engineering design work for the Leviathan gas field. The total contract value for work for developer Noble Energy is around $95 million. Noble and its other partners reached a final investment decision in February. The Leviathan partnership envisions spending about $3.75 billion on development of the first phase of the field, which outlines a production capacity of about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day. The piping of gas to its slated destinations is expected by the end of 2019. Wood Group said its planned 30,000 ton […]

Investment decision reached for Israeli gas giant

24 Feb 2017   Israel

The partnership in control of Leviathan, among the largest gas fields in the world, said they reached an investment decision that envisions flows by 2019. Delek Group and its partners said Thursday they’d spend about $3.75 billion on development of the first phase of Leviathan, which envisions a production capacity of about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day. The piping of gas to its slated destinations is expected by the end of 2019. Delek Group President and CEO Asaf Bartfeld said the investment decision was a win-win for all players involved. “Developing Leviathan and pursuing more export agreements, coupled with supply to the domestic market, will ensure energy security for Israel and will add […]

Israel Battles Fire at Oil Refinery in Haifa, Roads Blocked

26 Dec 2016   Israel

Firefighters are battling a blaze that erupted in a fuel tank at the Oil Refineries Ltd. facility in the northern city of Haifa, police said. No injuries were reported. The company’s Tel Aviv-traded shares were down 2.7 percent at 11:35 a.m., roughly in line with the decline of the TA-25 benchmark index. Authorities blocked off roads leading to the area to allow firefighting services to contain the blaze, police said. The Ynet news website said 40 firefighting units were dispatched to the scene to keep the fire from spreading to nearby tanks. Residents in nearby Haifa suburbs were asked to stay inside their homes, Ynet said.

Leviathan gas field start date approved

13 Dec 2016   Israel

Partners behind one of the larger natural gas fields off the coast of Israel unveiled plans to start formal production operations in roughly three years. Delek Drilling Ltd. and Avner Oil Exploration Ltd. said their boards have approved a development plan for the Leviathan natural gas field. Delek CEO Asaf Bartfeld said the agreement “will allow us meet the group’s target of first gas from Leviathan to the Israeli market and to countries in the region by the end of 2019.” A work plan for the first stage of development calls for about 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day through an investment of between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. Delek this year was forced to defend its development plans for Leviathan after a report from the Israeli government said that, after a review from independent analysts, the field could […]

Israel, Greece, Cyprus to push for gas pipeline to Europe: sources

12 Dec 2016   Cyprus, Israel, Pipelines

Israel, Greece, and Cyprus have decided to take their proposal for a pipeline from gas fields offshore Israel and Cyprus to Europe, Israeli energy sources said late Thursday. This followed talks in Jerusalem between senior government officials of the three countries. The sources said representatives of the three countries would hold talks soon with European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete to promote the proposed pipeline that would run from offshore Israel via Cyprus and then on to Greece, approximately 1,400 km (868 miles). The EU has been looking for ways to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. “A common pipeline is one of the strategic options for exporting gas to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean and additional gas discoveries in Israeli and Cypriot waters will make this attractive,” Israeli Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the end of the talks. Article continues below… […]

Israeli power to get gas from huge offshore field

2 Dec 2016   Israel

The partners tapping into one of the largest natural gas fields ever discovered off the coast of Israel said they brokered a power deal worth $2 billion. Delek Drilling, Texas-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Avner Oil and Ratio Oil, a collective working to exploit the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, said they reached an agreement with Dalia, the largest private power plant in Israel, to supply fuel for up to 20 years once production begins. The Leviathan partners said that, in their opinion, cumulative revenues for the sales agreement “is likely to come to $2 billion,” assuming Dalia takes on the full amount of gas outlined in the terms of the deal. Leviathan is expected to start […]

Israel’s Delek examines offshore Canada

12 Nov 2016   Canada, Israel

Israeli conglomerate Delek Group confirmed it secured the rights to explore for reserves in the deep waters off the coast of Newfoundland. Delek Group said it secured the rights to explore an area covering about 1,000 square miles off the eastern coast of Canada, where waters are about eight-tenths of a mile deep. “With regard to the West Orphan geological basin, where Block 7 among others is located, independent resource assessment identifying the in place resource potential of 25.5 billion barrels of oil and 20.6 trillion cubic feet of gas,” the company said in a statement. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said this week it took in just over $382 million in work commitments for work off the eastern […]

Israel, Turkey Discuss Energy After Years Of Diplomatic Silence

14 Oct 2016   Israel, Turkey

Erdogan Netanyahu Israel and Turkey discussed building a gas pipeline between the two nations, according to the Israeli energy minister, who made the announcement during the country’s first ministerial visit to Turkey in six years. The two countries’ ministers agreed to “establish immediately dialogue between our two governments” to determine the project’s feasibility, according to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who stood next to his Turkish counterpart at the press conference. Steinitz is Israel’s most senior official to visit Turkey since they agreed to renormalize ties this past June. The talks included the possibility of constructing a natural gas pipeline, and Turkey providing electricity and other energy to Palestinians. “We discussed energy in general and particularly the issue of natural gas and the possibility of building a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey in order to deliver natural gas to Turkey and to Europe,” Steinitz said. Diplomatic relations […]

Israeli offshore exploration gearing up again after hiatus

19 Aug 2016   Israel

Exploration off Israel’s Mediterranean coast is set to resume in the coming months after a hiatus of several years with a new foreign player, Energean Oil and Gas, expected to enter the market following its acquisition this week of the Karish and Tanin gas reservoirs from Israel’s Delek Group. The Cypriot company will pay $148.5 million and 9% of future revenue from the sale of gas from the two adjacent reservoirs. Israeli energy industry sources said that Energean is expected to present the Energy and Water Ministry with a detailed plan for developing Karish and Tanin early next year. The sale of the licenses coincides with plans by the Tamar consortium (Noble Energy, Delek Group, Isramco and Dor Gas Exploration) to drill a sixth well at the Tamar field at a cost of $265 million. Tamar is currently the sole source of supply to the domestic market. Article Continues […]

With gas policy set, Israel opens waters for new exploration

11 Aug 2016   Israel

Israel is preparing to tender 24 offshore exploration blocks as it looks to bolster its oil and gas industry after a four-year lull sparked by regulatory uncertainty and stock-price volatility. Their proximity to a number of large and proven gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean should make the tenders attractive. Nearly 2,200 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas is waiting to be found in Israeli waters, more than double the amount already discovered, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters on Wednesday, basing the estimate on a third-party geological study. The study also points to a potential 6.6 billion barrels of oil. “Things are now moving forward at an amazing pace,” Steinitz said, adding that while the government has yet to determine the type of tender, the blocks should available by November. Israel entered the world of hydrocarbon exploration seven years ago when some of the largest offshore gas […]

Israeli Energy Ministry Tries to Downplay Leviathan Gas Field Size

7 Jun 2016   Israel

Israel Offshore Rig The Israeli Energy Ministry has said that the supergiant Leviathan offshore gas field may be 20 percent smaller than its developers, US-based Noble Energy and Israeli partner Delek have previously estimated. The Israeli Energy Ministry has qualified its statement downplaying the field’s potential by saying that new drilling data could cause a change of opinion. Last week, the Energy Ministry approved the development plan for Leviathan, but noted its own estimates of reserves at 17.6 trillion cubic feet of gas. Noble and Delek have previously estimated 21.9 trillion cubic feet. Related: Saudi Arabia Raises Oil Prices to Asia But Cut Prices to Europe Noble and Delek remain firm in their original estimate, noting in a statement carried by Reuters that “the partnership clarifies that there has been no change in the resource estimate”. According to the Jerusalem Post, this is a “numbers game” now. Noble and […]

Israel Approves Noble’s Leviathan Development Plan

3 Jun 2016   Israel

The Israeli government approves Noble’s proposed development plan for the offshore Leviathan field. Following the implementation of measures to address concerns over control of Israel’s natural gas market, the Israeli government has approved Noble Energy Inc.’s proposed development plan for the offshore Leviathan field. After encountering opposition earlier this year, Noble Energy Inc.’s proposed development plan for the Leviathan field offshore Israel has received approval from the Petroleum Commissioner in Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure. The company plans to install a subsea system that connects production wells to a fixed platform located offshore, with the tie-in onshore in the northern Israel. The platform is expected to have an initial production capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) and capability to produce up to 2.1 Bcf/d. According to Tudor, Pickering and Holt, production is expected to begin in 2019, with phase one of Leviathan’s latest […]

Win secured for Israeli gas

24 May 2016   Israel

Partners aiming to exploit the rich natural gas reserves offshore Israel said they would take the steps needed for rapid development after a government nod. The Israeli Cabinet during the weekend approved revisions to a plan for the development of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a historic step for the nation’s economy. The Israeli government gave its consent to revised operational plans after a previous arrangement was struck down early this year by the Israeli Supreme Court . Noble Energy and its partners working to tap gas reserves offshore were notified in March by the court […]

Netanyahu Approves Deal to Develop Israel’s Natural-Gas Fields

23 May 2016   Israel

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday approved an amended deal to develop the country’s natural-gas fields after months of legal wrangling that has stunted the growth of the domestic hydrocarbon industry. Israel’s highest court in March ruled against an initial framework agreement to develop the country’s offshore fields. It called the deal unconstitutional, citing a clause in the agreement that gave energy companies pricing and regulatory stability for 10 years regardless of potential shifts in the government. Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday said the clause had been removed from the amended framework. An Israeli official said the government had added another clause that said the gas companies would be potentially compensated for any future changes in regulation. “The important thing now isn’t to delay,” Mr. Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting. The new […]

Did The Israeli Government Just Cut The Red-Tape For This Natgas Field?

20 May 2016   Israel

Noble Leviathan Israeli media have reported that U.S.-based Noble Energy and Israeli partner Delek Group have reached a preliminary deal with the Israeli government that would allow them to move forward on the development of the massive offshore Leviathan gas field. At stake is a massive gas field worth $5-$6 billion and believed to contain some 17-22 trillion cubic feet of gas, slated to begin extraction by 2019. The massive Leviathan gas field was discovered by Noble in Israel’s offshore Levant Basin over six years ago, but its development has been halted by red tape. In late March, the Israeli High Court moved to stop development indefinitely if a clause in the country’s natural gas rules was not changed or voided. At issue is a 10-year guarantee that the Israeli government gave Noble and Delek for Leviathan. The court held that the government did not have the right to […]

Israel, Egypt Said Nearing Compromise on Natural Gas Dispute

Israel and Egypt are close to a compromise that would sweep away a major obstacle to a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal. (Bloomberg) – Israel and Egypt are close to a compromise that would sweep away a major obstacle to a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal. Israel may agree to settle for half of the $1.73 billion fine Egypt was ordered to pay it so talks on exporting Israeli offshore gas there can go ahead, two people familiar with the negotiations said, requesting anonymity because the talks are private. Payments would be spread over 14 years, one of the people said. Negotiations are still under way, and authorities in both countries would have to approve any final figure, the people familiar said. State-owned Israel Electric Corp., which had sought the award from Egypt, and the Egyptian Foreign Ministry declined to comment. Energy stocks climbed. Israel has painted gas exports to Egypt […]

Russia Remains Determined To Stop Israel-Turkey Pipeline Deal

18 May 2016   Israel, Russia, Turkey

It has been six years since the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship that was aiming to reach the Gaza coast in May 2010. In the wake of the Mavi Marmara crisis, Turkey and Israel relations rapidly worsened; both countries withdrew their ambassadors and cut diplomatic ties. Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet along the Syrian border on November 24, 2015 has forced Ankara to adjust its foreign policy and address its energy security issues. The crisis between Turkey and Russia firmly highlighted the dependence of Turkey on Russian energy resources. To reduce that dependence, Ankara began to seek alternative energy suppliers and new routes. Turkey turned to Israel, hoping to once again normalize relations between the two states. Erdogan now aims to build an East Mediterranean natural gas pipeline, which could transport natural gas supplies from Israel to Cyprus. In January 2016 he stated that “Israel is […]

New estimate puts Israel’s Leviathan gas resources far lower at 16.6 Tcf: sources

26 Apr 2016   Israel

An updated assessment of the Leviathan offshore gas field puts the Israeli offshore field’s estimated resources at 16.6 trillion cubic feet (about 453 billion cubic meters), 24% lower than a previous assessment, according to energy industry sources. The latest estimate, by Netherlands-based SGS, was prepared at the request of Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry. The previous estimate, prepared for Noble Energy Inc and its Israeli partners Delek Group and Ratio Oil Exploration in July 2014 by Netherland, Sewell & Associates, put Leviathan’s resources at 21.9 Tcf. The ministry would only confirm that it had received an estimate and that it was conducting another assessment by a second international consulting company. The ministry said in a statement that once all of the tests are concluded it would publish the figures and determine its policy regarding development of the offshore field. The energy industry sources said that the lower estimate, […]

Noble Seeks To Sell Off 15 Percent Of Leviathan Gas Field

21 Apr 2016   Israel

Though a game-changing gas discovery for Israel and for the discoverer, Texas-based Noble Energy, the giant Leviathan offshore gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean has been one bureaucratic headache after another. Now reports are surfacing that the company is seeking to reduce exposure by selling 15 percent of its 40 percent interest in the project. Noble Energy discovered the Leviathan deposit back in 2010: a field that holds an estimated 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and can turn Israel into not just a self-sufficient nation in energy terms, but also into a large exporter of gas. It could, were it not for legal and political issues that have put spokes in the wheels of the project since its inception. Noble has partnered with Israeli energy companies Delek Group, which holds 45 percent in the project, and Ratio, with 15 percent, for the development of Leviathan. The total […]

Israel Energy Minister Sees Gas Spat Ending In A Couple of Months

30 Mar 2016   Israel

Israel’s energy minister said on Tuesday he believes recent turmoil in the country’s natural gas sector will be resolved within a couple of months, before too much damage is done. Israel’s highest court this week barred the government from giving a 10-year guarantee to energy companies interested in developing the Leviathan offshore gas field. The move could delay Israel’s emergence as a regional natural gas exporter. “I was surprised. I thought that even the Supreme Court could not neglect, could not ignore the situation and the potential economic damage to Israel,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters in an interview. “Many similar gas operations in deep water already have been canceled worldwide and we are trying to save our own.” Without a government […]

Israel’s High Court Strikes Down Government Natural Gas Plan

28 Mar 2016   Israel

Israel’s High Court blocked the government’s controversial proposal to regulate the natural gas industry, in a dramatic ruling that complicates plans to develop the country’s largest field and conclude export deals. The court said late Sunday that it objected to the so-called stability clause that would have prevented major regulatory changes for 10 years, inserted to encourage investment. It gave the government, which denounced the ruling, a year to revise its plan. The TA-Oil & Gas Index fell 5.9 percent on Monday, the most in nearly seven months, to 844.69 at 10:13 a.m. in Tel Aviv. The government’s failure to craft an approved regulatory framework for the industry since the fields were discovered six years ago has held up development of the largest reserve, Leviathan, impeding export deals and antagonizing investors. Israel’s offshore gas fields are held by a small number of companies headed by Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. […]

Israel Supreme Court Rules Against Offshore-Gas Deal

28 Mar 2016   Israel

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday ruled against a landmark deal to develop and export the country’s offshore gas reserves, a setback for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who campaigned for it. The panel of judges called the deal unconstitutional, citing a clause in its framework that gave energy companies pricing and regulatory stability for 10 years regardless of potential shifts in the government. The main stakeholders in the fields, U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc. and Israeli partner Delek Group, had argued that the stability clause was required for them to make the investments necessary to develop the fields. The deal will be suspended for one year, the court said. Mr. Netanyahu’s government will be required to amend it during that period and potentially put the details to a vote in the Israeli parliament, known as […]

EU keen to buy natural gas from Israel, discussions underway

19 Mar 2016   Europe, Israel

The EU is interested in receiving natural gas from Israel, according to Israel’s energy ministry, with ministry sources saying Thursday that preliminary talks on future sales of gas are underway. A statement issued by the ministry said Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz discussed the issue on Wednesday with the EU ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen. The ministry statement said the discussions focused on “the timeline regarding the development of Israel’s offshore gas reservoirs and the possibility of exporting the gas from Israel to Europe.” The ministry statement quoted the ambassador as saying that the EU interest was aroused due to steps being taken to develop the Leviathan reservoir with 621 Bcm in estimated resources, as well as the prospect of finding more gas off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The meeting between Steinitz and Faaborg-Andersen followed talks in recent days between the Israeli energy minister […]

U.S. oil sent to Israeli refineries

25 Feb 2016   Israel

Dutch oil trader Trafigura confirmed it delivered a cargo of crude oil sourced from U.S. basins to Israeli refineries in an early start for U.S. oil deliveries. Trading company Vitol, which has headquarters in Switzerland, scheduled the loading of 600,000 barrels of light crude oil from a Houston shipping terminal with the help of Enterprise Product Partners during the first week of January. It was the first such shipment in roughly 40 years. The White House in November signed off on a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that included language that, with certain provisions, lifted a 40-year ban on the export of crude oil produced in the United States. Ben Luckock, head of crude oil for Trafigura, said […]

Leviathan gas to supply Israeli market

2 Feb 2016   Israel

The partners controlling the Leviathan gas field off the Israeli coast announced they signed a deal for deliveries to a local electricity producer. Israeli electric company Edeltech Ltd. agreed to take on natural gas from the offshore field from Texas-based Noble Energy, along with Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration. Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying the deal “marks a beginning” for the Leviathan field. Leviathan is among the largest natural gas fields in production in the world. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the full development of offshore natural gas reserves would be “for the benefit of the citizens of Israel.” Last year, the Israeli partners expressed interest in coordinating gas deliveries […]

Israel approves natural gas exports to Egypt

25 Dec 2015   Egypt, Israel

Dec 24 Israel’s government has given the go ahead to begin exporting natural gas to Egypt, signalling a potential improvement in relations between two countries which have been at loggerheads over energy supplies. Israel will be able to sell 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Egypt in the coming seven years from the Tamar site off its Mediterranean coast, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement on Thursday. “After years of delay and debate, we are starting to move forward and to position Israel as a regional natural gas power,” he said. Israel, long an importer of gas, has seen its fortunes transformed by big gas discoveries such as the Tamar field. Egypt had been selling gas to Israel under a 20-year agreement, but that collapsed in 2012 after months of attacks on the pipeline by militants in Egypt’s remote Sinai peninsula. An international arbitrator this […]

Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians, injure at least 78 others in clashes

19 Dec 2015   Israel

Israeli forces on Friday shot and killed three Palestinians and wounded at least 78 others in clashes that raged across the occupied Palestinian territories for a second straight day, according to officials and local reports. Forces killed a Palestinian driver they accused of trying to ram his car into a group of Israeli soldiers. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the assailant sped toward forces engaged in clashes with protesters in the town of Silwad, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Samri said the Israeli forces took cover behind concrete blocks and fatally shot the driver. She said no Israelis were wounded. The alleged attack was the second to take place on Friday. In the earlier attack, which occurred at a West Bank checkpoint, the suspected assailant was wounded and subsequently arrested. Palestinians in occupied territories need protection Clashes on Friday between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters occurred […]

Israeli companies keen on Egyptian gas deal

9 Dec 2015   Egypt, Israel

Companies working in the Israel energy sector said they’re still pursing commercial deals in Egypt despite reports of a breakdown in talks. Egyptian media outlet Ahram Online reported during the weekend the government in Cairo announced plans to suspend negotiations between companies working to bring Israeli gas into the domestic market. The suspension followed word that state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. would appeal a multibillion dollar penalty ordered from international arbiters ruling on the collapse of 2012 Israeli gas export deal. Delek Group, one of the parties to proposed export deals, said it was not involved in arbitration proceedings with Egyptian gas companies. In response to various media reports on the freeze in the talks, the company […]

Israel soon to open Abu Dhabi office for renewable energy

27 Nov 2015   Abu Dhabi, Israel

Israel’s Foreign Ministry says the country will soon open an office at a renewable energy agency in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital – even though the two nations have no diplomatic relations. Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Friday the office will be accredited to IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency. Like much of the Arab world, the UAE has no diplomatic relations with Israel and Israeli passport holders are barred from entering the Emirates. However, IRENA has been part of a rapprochement between Israel and the UAE before. In 2010, then-Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau attended an IRENA conference in Abu Dhabi , becoming the first Cabinet-level official to visit the Emirates. Officials at IRENA and the Emirati government could not be immediately reached for comment.

Global Downturn is Rare Opportunity for Israel to Recruit Oil, Gas Talent

20 Nov 2015   Israel

Israel has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recruit the oil and gas talent it needs to exploit its natural gas resources and turn itself into an important oil and gas hub in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to import the skills and knowledge it needs to develop itself into an oil and gas hub in the eastern Mediterranean, according to speakers at this week’s Universal Oil and Gas Conference, which is being held in Tel Aviv. The country must take advantage of a global downturn in the upstream oil and gas industry in order to recruit the engineering specialists it needs to exploit the approximately 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas it found off its coast in 2009 and 2010 , as well the geological and drilling experts it requires as it searches for more hydrocarbons, delegates to UOG 2015 heard. Speaking about the challenges Israel […]

Israel Invites Oil Majors for Further Natural Gas Exploration

11 Nov 2015   Israel

JERUSALEM—Israel is inviting international oil companies to further explore its offshore waters for natural gas, the country’s energy minister said on Tuesday, as the country tries to become an energy exporter for first time. “We believe that based on the geological data—from our own experts and global companies—that there is still the potential for new discoveries,” Mr. Steinitz told reporters in Jerusalem. Israel, Egypt and other countries have pushed to turn the Mediterranean Sea into a natural-gas powerhouse as energy companies make new finds there. Shell’s head of gas Maarten Wetselaar declined to disclosed if the company had been in any talks with the Israeli government. “We are not in the gas business in Israel and have no immediate plans to explore or produce gas there,” Mr. Wetselaar said in an interview Tuesday. Representatives for Eni, Exxon and Hess didn’t respond immediately to requests for comment. Mr. Steinitz said […]

Noble To Make Investment Decision On Israel’s Gas Fields In 1 Year

3 Nov 2015   Israel

Noble Energy says it will make a final investment decision on two large gas fields in Israel in about a year’s time, a day after the country’s prime minister promised to fast-track the projects. Nov 2 (Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas producer Noble Energy Inc said on Monday it would make a final investment decision on two large gas fields in Israel in about a year’s time, a day after the country’s prime minister promised to fast-track the projects. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he would take control of the economy ministry – after a minister who had been holding up the plan stepped down – and give final approval to a framework deal with Noble and Israel’s Delek Group . “Yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister’s office is a further indication of the commitment to moving forward with gas development,” Noble’s Chief Executive David Stover […]

Israeli Minister Resigns, Paving Way for Gas-Field Development

2 Nov 2015   Israel

Israel’s economy minister resigned on Sunday, allowing the government to move ahead with stalled plans to develop two offshore gas fields after nearly a year of political wrangling. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would take over Aryeh Deri’s portfolio to push through a framework to develop the gas fields after the plan was ruled anticompetitive by the country’s regulator last year. “Today we are taking a major step toward advancing the supply of gas in the state of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “Natural gas will be the No. 1 growth engine in Israel in the coming years.” The Tamar and Leviathan fields were discovered in 2009 and 2010 , respectively, and are worth an estimated $25 billion in potential gas sales, according to analysts at U.K.-based Barclays Bank. Mr. Netanyahu said the gas from the two fields would lower energy costs for Israelis. The development plans would […]

Israel’s Delek Group enters North Sea

10 Oct 2015   Israel

Israeli energy company Delek Group said it was wading deeper into the international market by taking on stake on Ithaca Energy, which operates in the North Sea. “This is an important strategic step for Delek Group through expanding its operations and strengthening its position on the international market,” Chief Executive Officer Asi Bartfeld said in a statement. “We intend to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the markets and to examine further strategic investments in international companies in the energy field.” For a total consideration of $66 million, Delek said it was taking on a 20 percent stake in Ithaca in a deal that includes a potential for two seats on Ithaca’s board of directors. Ithaca’s […]

Major reserve discovery confirmed in Golan Heights

10 Oct 2015   Israel

Genie Energy, a company with headquarters in the United States, confirmed it made a major discovery of oil and natural gas in the Golan Heights. The New Jersey-based company said data from exploratory wells drilling into the area confirm what it said were “significant” quantities of oil and natural gas. “We remain optimistic given the results to date,” Genie Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Jonas said in a statement. “We are now working diligently to determine the production costs and total quantity of the resource.” The company’s Israeli subsidiary, Afek Oil and Gas, drilled into a column of reserves about 1,150 feet thick, about 10 times larger than the global average. Genie said it lacks evidence to determine if […]

Israel Oil Discovery: Massive Reserve Could Meet Domestic Demand

8 Oct 2015   Israel

A massive oil reserve has been discovered in the Golan Heights by an Israeli energy company, regional news outlets reported Wednesday. The find by Afek Oil and Gas, confirmed to be 10 times larger than the average oil field worldwide, could boost Israel’s relatively young oil industry and meet domestic energy demands. “There is enormous excitement,” Yuval Bartov, the oil and gas chief geologist for Afek, told Channel 2 News, according to Globes . “It’s a fantastic feeling. We came here thinking maybe yes or maybe no and now things are really happening.” Israeli oil companies were searching for oil around the clock, with little success until the latest discovery. It was first announced last month , but the size of the find was only confirmed recently. Afek Oil and Gas is a subsidiary of American company Genie Energy. Since Israel’s founding, companies have drilled 530 exploratory wells in […]

Israel upbeat on Golan oil potential

8 Oct 2015   Israel

An Israeli oil and natural gas company estimates there may be enough reserves in the occupied Golan Heights to make the country self-sufficient in energy. Yuval Bartov, the chief geologist for Afek Oil and Gas, told Channel 2 News in Israel preliminary data show a column of oil found in the Golan Heights is about 10 times larger than the global average. “We are talking about significant quantities,” he said. “The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.” The Israeli Ministry of Energy and Water Resources awarded a drilling permit to U.S.-Israeli company Genie Energy for territory in the southern Golan Heights in 2013. The company at the […]

Israel says won’t allow Iran to join ‘nuclear weapons club’

2 Oct 2015   Iran, Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his annual United Nations address on Thursday to launch an all-out assault on the historic nuclear deal with Iran, warning that his country would never let the Islamic Republic join the nuclear weapons club. Speaking at the yearly gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu reiterated Israeli criticism of a deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. He said that, once international sanctions are lifted, “unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl.” Israel, Netanyahu said, would never allow Iran “to break in, to sneak in, or to walk into the nuclear weapons club.” Israel has repeatedly warned it is prepared to use military force to […]

How Israel Turned A Gas Bonanza Into An Antitrust Headache

2 Oct 2015   Israel

When the Leviathan gas field was discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, it was pitched as a game-changer — a vast energy reserve that would transform the economy and bolster public finances for years to come. Five years on, poor policymaking, political infighting and a battle between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the antitrust commissioner over a lack of competition mean Leviathan remains undeveloped. Meanwhile, Egypt has made a larger discovery that could make it a more attractive investment. The case sends a worrying message to investors and may make them wary of the natural resources sector in Israel, which has struggled to diversify its economy much beyond technology. Instead of billions of dollars in exports […]

Israel’s 300 Days of Sun No Help as Offshore Gas Eclipses Solar

11 Sep 2015   Israel, Solar

Yosef Abramowitz, the developer of the Ketura solar field. After struggling to grow citrus trees on a stretch of parched desert, Israel’s Kibbutz Ketura instead devoted the land to harvesting the country’s most abundant resource: sunshine. Yet as the kibbutzniks seek to expand their solar installations, the government is proving almost as formidable an obstacle as the scorched soil ever was. “Israel has the technology and plenty of sunshine, but the government is completely ignoring the renewables industry,” said Yosef Abramowitz, a solar energy advocate who helped found Arava Power Co., the developer of the Ketura field. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year and a world-class tech sector, Israel should be a hotbed of solar, but it has lagged behind places such as cloudy Germany and the rainy Netherlands. That’s because in recent years, geologists have discovered huge gas fields just off Israel’s coast, making the […]

Get gas flowing, Noble tells Israeli government

10 Sep 2015   Israel

 Parliamentary support for a framework agreement for Israeli oil and gas development is a welcome step, but full backing is needed, Noble Energy said. The Israel Antitrust Authority ruled that Israeli energy company Delek Group and its partners at Noble Energy, which has headquarters in Texas, control all of the gas reservoirs off the nation’s coast. A compromise deal from 2014 called on Noble and Delek to sell their stakes in the Karish and Tanin fields off the coast of Israel, which combine for an average 20.5 trillion cubic feet of reserves, in exchange for maintaining their holdings in Leviathan and Tamar, two of the largest gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. On Monday, the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, […]

Inside Israel’s Bid to Derail Iran Pact

4 Sep 2015   Iran, Israel

In early August, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of 22 Democratic U.S. lawmakers. He closed the door and instructed an aide to clear his schedule for the afternoon. There was nothing more important, he told the members of Congress, than answering their questions on the Iranian nuclear deal, however long it took. For the next two hours, the prime minister worked the room, according to many of the lawmakers present. His props included a large white board on which he wrote their questions. At one point, he drew what he called a “nuclear gun” to underline his fears. Although Mr. Netanyahu didn’t explicitly tell them to vote against the deal, his feelings were clear. It would seriously jeopardize Israel’s security, he told them. “They weren’t twisting my arm but they were certainly trying to convince me,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, one […]

Israeli Officials Concerned About Gas Discovery in Egypt

3 Sep 2015   Egypt, Israel

Israeli officials expressed concern that the discovery of an extensive gas field off the coast of Egypt could upend Israeli development of its energy resources. The Italian energy company Eni E 0.92 % SpA on Sunday announced the discovery of the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, threatening a deal between the Israeli government and developers that was based on expectations of substantial gas exports to Egypt. That deal already was bogged down in disagreements about regulation, pricing and profit-sharing that have delayed the start of production. “The discovery of the Egyptian gas field is a painful reminder that while Israel has been asleep at the wheel and delaying final approval of the gas deal and additional exploration, the world is changing before our very eyes with implications for export possibilities,” Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said after Sunday’s […]

Gas sales give lift to Israel’s Delek Group

1 Sep 2015   Israel

 After posting strong second-quarter results, the chief executive officer at Israeli energy company Delek said growth should continue through future investments. Delek, which operates in some of the largest natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, said operating profit for the second quarter increased 69 percent to $69 million. Net income swung from a $152 million loss in the second quarter of 2014 to a $5.5 million gain, driven in large part from sales from the Tamar gas field off the Israeli coast. Members of the Israeli government moved in mid-August to clear the way for the full development of offshore natural gas reserves. The Israel Antitrust Authority had ruled that Delek Group and its partners at Noble Energy, which has headquarters in Texas, control […]

Iran Deal Opens a Vitriolic Divide Among American Jews

29 Aug 2015   Iran, Israel

The attacks on Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, since he announced his support for the nuclear accord with Iran have been so vicious that the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Anti-Defamation League both felt compelled this week to publicly condemn Jewish voices of hate. On the other side, three Jewish Democrats in the House who oppose the deal released a joint statement denouncing “ad hominem attacks and threats” against not only supporters like Mr. Nadler but also Jewish opponents, who have been accused of “dual loyalties” and treason. This August recess has not produced the kind of fiery town hall-style meetings that greeted lawmakers in 2009 before their vote on the Affordable Care Act, but in one small […]

Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies

24 Aug 2015   Iraq, Israel

Israel has imported as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish north in recent months, providing a vital source of funds to the cash-strapped region as it fights militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).  The sales are a sign of Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing assertiveness and the further fraying of ties between Erbil and Baghdad, which has long harboured fears that the Kurds’ ultimate objective is full-scale independence from Iraq. The imports highlight the significant inroads that oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is making into world markets, with Italy, France and Greece also emerging as big buyers. It is a trade conducted through secretive pre-pay deals brokered by some of the world’s largest oil trading companies, including Vitol and Trafigura.  Israeli refineries and oil companies imported more than 19m barrels of Kurdish oil between the beginning of May and August 11, according to shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking. This would be worth almost $1bn based on international prices over the period.

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Israel Misses Gas-Wealth Opportunities

21 Aug 2015   Israel

Israel couldn’t believe its luck when huge natural-gas deposits were found in its waters five years ago. There was hopeful talk of cementing regional peace with pipelines to energy-hungry neighbors, and of plentiful gas fueling a new economic boom. Instead, what happened since then has spotlighted how unprepared Israel was to deal with newfound energy riches even as it prides itself on being a modern, investor friendly economy. Political feuding and bureaucratic infighting have delayed for years the development of the biggest gas field and now are threatening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fragile coalition government. No development work started so far on the Leviathan field, the largest in the Mediterranean and estimated to hold 22 trillion cubic feet of gas—enough to supply a country like Turkey for more than a decade. Amid uncertainty about […]