Shortly after she stepped down from her position as Prime Minister Golda
Meir toured the US. In talking about the advantages in resources the
Arab states had over Israel, she blamed Moses. Too bad, that after leading his people across
the miraculously parted Red Sea, he did not turn right—to where the
oil was—but instead turned left.
But Moses’ sense of direction is
making a comeback.
Four years ago exploratory drilling off Israel’s northern coast this confirmed the existence of a major natural gas field — one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds of the past decade — leading the country’s infrastructure minister to call it “the most important energy news since the founding of the state.”
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Yesterday that gas started flowing to the Israeli mainland.
Natural gas from the offshore Tamar field was pumped to Israeli shores
for the first time Saturday, four years after its discovery, in
preparation for its first use in the Israeli energy market — a move that
could transform the Israeli economy.
The Tamar deposit,
discovered in 2009 some 90 kilometers west of Haifa, holds an estimated
8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
As the gas flowed to a newly erected plant on the coast of Ashdod, PM Netanyahu said this was an “important day for the Israeli economy,” and referenced the holiday of Passover
“On the festival of freedom, we are taking an important step toward energy independence. We have advanced the natural gas sector in Israel over the last decade, which will be good for the Israeli economy and for all Israelis.”
This one field is expected to meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 20 years (there have been other fields discovered).
The Tamar deposit, and especially the heftier Leviathan [which is three years away from being tapped] which was
discovered in 2010, are expected to provide Israel with enough natural
gas for decades and transform the country, famously empty of natural
resources, into an energy exporter.
Israel as an energy exporter? Thank you Moses!