June 29, 2012–When Dan Meridor, the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel expressed cautious optimism over Israeli-Egyptian relationships, one cannot help but feel skeptical about the way things are turning out in Egypt. The country elected Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi as the President of Egypt and politicians there have asserted that peace treaties between Israel and Egypt will continue to hold good, and that business shall remain as usual. This statement must be ingested with a pinch of skepticism too, as Egypt had terminated a natural gas deal, which sent gas to Israel from Sinai Peninsula over a pipeline. Egypt had claimed that it was a business decision and had nothing to do with politics or internal matters.
When it comes to countries that have politicians who are swayed by fundamentalism, one cannot really take their words literally. As evidenced earlier, most fundamental politicians mix religion with business and bring in strange policies that not only hurt economic cooperation, but also open possibilities of military interventions. With that in mind, we must look at the change of power in Egypt with extreme skepticism and wariness. Ideally, Israel must stop depending on Egypt for its fuel needs and must become self dependent or try and get gas from secure neighbors who are friendlier towards Israel, for instance Cyprus.
The Mari-B well off Israel’s Mediterranean coast has remained one of the most important sources of natural gas, but it is almost depleted now. When Noble Energy (NBL) and its partners announced that they began laying pipelines connecting the Noa and Pinnacles wells to Mari-B, we could assume that the future of Israel in terms of its fuel needs are not going to be as bad as we imagined. In fact, Noble mentioned that natural gas from the Noa field has begun to flow towards Israel and it will help Tel Aviv to prevent electricity and fuel shortages, especially after Egypt announced its decision to cut natural gas supplies. Israel has been importing low-quality diesel and fuel oil from a host of countries and its electricity rates have increased drastically.
With the nuclear threat from Iran looming, Israel certainly does not need another worry hanging heavy over its shoulders. Thanks to Noble Energy, Israel will be able to put its natural gas worries to rest at least for a while till a new source can be found. The Tamar field, with its estimated 9.7 trillion cubic meters of gas, will be operational only by 2013, and Noa’s supply is extremely crucial to Israel. Noble owns 47.059% of Noa, while its partners Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration hold the rest.
Noble has a very important role to play in Israel’s fuel needs and the company should make every possible attempt to make sure that Israel has enough gas and oil supplies to meet its fuel requirements. When Israel’s fuel demands and requirements are met, the country will be able to focus on its more important issues like Iran, security and conflict resolution…Read More>>