Is Israel Going To Export Natural Gas?

With the recent discovery of huge oil and natural gas reserves in the Levant Basin of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel has gone overnight from being a huge importer of natural gas to meet its energy needs to becoming an energy surplus nation with the potential to start exporting natural gas and to establish itself as an energy supplier in the international market. The question, therefore, to be asked is, is Israel planning on exporting its natural gas and in which amounts?

In order to be able to answer this question, we must look at the status of the Levant gas field development.

The Levant gas field was recently discovered during surveys conducted on the potential of natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea. This gas field is shared by many countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and Israel has a huge part of this field. The main blocks for Israel include the Leviathan Gas Field and the Tamar Gas Field which are some of the deepest known gas fields to be discovered in the 21st Century. Right now, these gas fields are at the developmental stage, with extraction equipment, pipelines, and other supporting infrastructure being constructed. This project has some heavy funding backing it, with private players having invested over three billion US dollars into the successful running of this project – and as such, these players are looking for a return on their investment through the exporting of such natural gas to the international markets.

Before the discovery of the Levant gas field, Israel Oil and Gas were heavily dependent on importing natural gas and crude oil from international suppliers. They used to depend on such imported fuel to supply over 90% of the country’s energy needs. Now with the discovery of the Levant gas field, Israel has more natural gas reserves than is required to supply the country’s energy needs, with some experts estimating that the natural gas from the Leviathan Basin alone can meet Israel’s energy needs for the following 40 years, which is big news. This opens up the door for Israel to start exporting natural gas to neighboring countries and to the international market, thus establishing dominance as an energy supplier in the international market.

Israel just recently signed a new and improved deal with neighboring Egypt to increased the amount of natural gas exported to them from the Leviathan gas field. The earlier deal with them was to export around 64 billion cubic meters of natural Israel gas – but under the revised agreement, this figure goes up to around 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which is a significant increase. With the increase in the amount supplied to Egypt, the value of the deal also goes up to around 19 Billion US dollars, which is big money for a beginning player like Israel. With this agreement, Egypt will no longer have to spend a lot of money to import natural gas from other international suppliers, now it can get natural gas at a relatively cheaper price from Israel.

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