Israel has undiscovered offshore natural gas worth four more Leviathan fields, Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz has told the 16th Herzliya Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Interdisciplinary Center.
Steinitz said, "It's no secret that Israel has had a major downturn in growth, in investments and in exports and that's very worrying. Developing the gas fields, bringing natural gas to factories and transport and developing export pipelines all these things are a huge engine of growth. What might save us from recession and bring us back to a reasonable level of growth is natural gas."
Steinitz was speaking three weeks after the Israeli government approved the gas outline agreement with a "softened" stability clause. Speaking about the future of Israel's natural gas industry, he claimed that according to the latest Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources estimates the amount of gas still to be discovered in Israeli economic waters amounts to about 2,200 billion cubic meters. He said, "That's about double what we have discovered to date and four gas fields like Leviathan."
He added that the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources plans opening the seas for new gas exploration licenses in the fall.
Steinitz also discussed options for gas exports and said in the first stage Israel must become a gas exporter to neighboring countries in the region through pipelines including Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. He added that the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources is currently examining the possibility of laying a pipeline to Cyprus and from there to Greece. He said, "The project is technologically possible and the costs are not as high as we thought in the past." He insists that Israel can be a natural gas supplier to Europe. "If this can be realized it will position Israel well from the geopolitical and geostrategic point of view. Israel can become a significant player."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 16, 2016
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