Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Will this change the Mideast energy map?

Israel has depended on gas from Egypt, coal from South Africa and some gas from its own nearly depleted wells. However, huge natural gas reservoirs in its territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea have recently been discovered.
The gas finds of Tamar, with an estimated 8.7 trillion cubic feet, and Leviathan, with 16 trillion cubic feet, belong to the massive Levant Basin Province field that might contain a total of 122 trillion cubic feet, according to a United States Geological Survey. Together, the two Israeli sites are twice as big as the British fields in the North Sea, with an estimated value of $300 billion, enough gas for perhaps 50-70 years of domestic use. If technology proceeds without mishap, Tamar will be yielding its resource by 2012, Leviathan by 2015.
The squabbling began immediately.
The Tamar and Leviathan gas discovery has instigated a wide variety of reactions from observers. Hezbollah is snarling that Israel wants to rob oil from Lebanese territorial waters. Greece and Cyprus have hosted high-level discussions on the topic with Israeli leaders. Noam Chomsky has opined that 2008's Operation Cast Lead was Israel's ploy to seize gas and oil fields off the Gaza coast. International pundits are offering reams of advice with at least one, Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, defining Tamar and Leviathan as a "world class game-changer."
Hank Pellissier at the World Future Society lays out several scenarios for this find, including sabotage, domestic use only, a pipeline to Greece and exporting liquefied gas to Asia.

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