Israel should postpone the discussion on natural gas exports by at least 18-24 months, until key questions about the size of gas fields and their production and deliveries capabilities can be clarified, says Oil Council member Yonatan Friedman, a former advisor to Minister of Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau.
Landau supports gas exports, beyond what Israel needs for a 25-year strategic reserve. He is opposed by Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan, who supports postponing a decision on gas exports by a few years.
“Globes”: Have you told Landau of your opinion?
Friedman: “I definitely agree with the principle that there is no need for a decision now. A decision on gas exports should wait until we have a fairly reliable picture, and not just the present gas reserves, but also production and transport capabilities and redundancies of reserves and gas supply systems. The world’s largest gas producer, the US, does not yet have substantial gas export redundancies, even though it has on paper sufficient gas reserves for decades.”
The Tzemach Committee is wrong to discuss exports now?
“In my opinion, any discussion by the Tzemach Committee on the amount of gas to export would only be theoretical and based on a serious methodological error in the supply chapter. The Tzemach Committee used a simplistic formula: it counted the amount of gas we have in billions of cubic meters, and divided the total by the expected annual demand for gas. I point out that most of the gas ‘we have’ has not yet been discovered, but the committee counted it on the basis of forecasts based on statistical probabilities of discovery. This is unprofessional in my opinion, and we should be conservative…Read More>>