Israel finds more offshore natural gas in the Mediterranean

Israel announced in December a major offshore natural gas discovery off its own coast, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Israel announced in December a major offshore natural gas discovery off its own coast, according to The Washington Free Beacon. This is Israel's third natural gas field discovery since 2009.

The newest natural gas field is approximately 90 miles off Israel's coast in the Mediterranean Sea. The nation estimates the field holds at least 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, and the other two fields have about 33 trillion cubic feet of gas or more.

According to the source, the country will get most of the natural gas it needs in the future from these three fields. In the past, Israel generated most of its energy from coal. But, increasing demand for energy has pushed the country to invest in natural gas discovery and production projects.

Natural gas a geopolitical tool
The offshore natural gas fields even have the potential to aid the country's neighbors, who are in need of energy, without creating political trouble - though it will likely create some criticism, according to The New York Times.

It is probable Israel will become a supplier of natural gas to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in the near future. Both Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have signed preliminary agreements with the natural gas producer running Israel's offshore operations, Noble Energy, the Times reported. Noble Gas is in talks with Egypt, which needs larger quantities of the resource.

While relations between many of these nations have been tense, the private contracts through an American company have allowed the countries to work together to provide energy to their citizens.

Support from America
The Obama administration has pushed for Israel and its neighbors to work together to utilize the natural gas off Israel's shores, according to the Times. Israel growing to be a regional natural gas supplier could mean big things for Europe - where many countries have to depend on Russian resources. The U.S. has also helped the ongoing process by providing gas regulation training to Jordanians.

More information on energy in Israel can be found at PennEnergy's research area.

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