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Israel Steals Gaza’s Gas

As suspected, the State of Israel has declared the Natural Gas off the coast of Gaza as theirs, and are seeking to develop it, for their own profit, naturally :-

“Energy exec: Israel could end natural gas imports : By KAROUN DEMIRJIAN (AP) : TEL AVIV, Israel — A U.S. energy company announced Tuesday that a project it is developing off the Israeli coast could soon end the country’s longtime dependence on natural gas imports. Noble Energy Chief Executive Charles D. Davidson said the Tamar gas field — set to become operational in 2012 — will allow Israel to meet its own energy needs, and potentially even become an exporter of fuel. “Our thoughts are that will exceed what the market will need,” Davidson said. “It’s significant to Israel and what it can do for this country in terms of lowering energy costs.”…A national supply of natural gas could mean major energy savings for Israeli citizens, as well as revenue for the government from corporate taxes and profit royalties, Davidson said…”

So, we could ask the Israeli Ambassador in London, was it worth expending all that expensive military hardware from your considerable foreign-funded assets, just to make sure nobody would have the strength to complain that you are taking control of Gaza’s gas ?

Gaza is not in a fit state to exploit the fuel itself ? Why would that be, Mr Israeli Ambassador ? Could it have anything to do with the illegal carpet bombing of the open prison on the Western shore in Christmas 2008 ? The gas finds are a little too conveniently described as taking place in “early 2009″. I find myself feeling queasy.

Even Israel does not have the engineering capacity to exploit the Natural Gas – they need the assistance of an American company…”Noble Energy”. I think they should be re-christened “Ignoble Energy”.

Not content with appropriating the water, land, wells, olive trees, liberty, children, health and livelihoods of the Palestinian people of Gaza, the State of Israel now has to steal a resource that could have provided them some form of Economic Development.

2 replies on “Israel Steals Gaza’s Gas”

FYI: Tamar and Dalit natural gas reservoirs are located 90 km off-shore Haifa, more than 100 km from Gaza:

[ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : You can draw straight lines on a map, but the Natural Gas reservoirs will not obey those straight lines. You cannot airbrush Palestinian human rights, (including their rights to economic development), out of the picture, in my view. History has already been re-written, and spun, if Israel claims that the Natural Gas is all theirs, or makes no mention of Gaza’s stake. The Jewish State Government should read their Prophets, I think :-

“…Gaza is a small strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea. Its territorial waters extend to about 35km off the coast. In 1999, the oil firm BG International discovered a huge deposit of natural gas 32km from the Gaza coast. The Gaza Marine gas field contains 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas valued at over $4 billion. As per the Oslo peace accords, which created Gaza, Israel has security control over air and water around Gaza. So, it wrangled a deal with BG to get access to Gaza Marine gas at cheap rates. But before the deal could go through, Hamas won the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. This sparked off a bitter power struggle between Hamas and the pro-west Fatah. Ultimately, the Palestinian Authority split in 2007, with Hamas taking control of Gaza and Fatah taking control of West Bank. One of the first things that Hamas did after getting elected was to declare that the natural gas deal would have to be renegotiated. Then began the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which prevented much required food and medicines from reaching the hapless Gazans. Crammed into about 360 sq km, 1.5 million Gazans saw their lives crumble into dust. To get food and medicines, Gazans built tunnels under the Israeli barriers, and once even broke through on the Egyptian side. But the Israeli and Egyptian army tamped them down. It appears that the current Israeli move is to try and turn the Gazans against Hamas, paving the way for a more pliable administration, so that the gas deal will go through. Reports from Israel indicate that preparations for this attack were underway since several months ago, with the ceasefire offered by Israel being just a ploy to lull Hamas…” ]

Well, I gave the map of natural gas fields to point out, that information in your article is not correct. You are writing about “taking control of Gaza’s gas” which is not true. Davidson explicitly refers to to Tamar and Delek gas fields and not to gas fields inside of Gaza offshore waters which are fully controlled by BG (former British Gas) company and not exploited now at all. Tamar and Delek gas fields are completely separate instances and Palestinian Authority never made any claims for them since they are completely located in Israeli waters 100 km to the north of Gaza.

Certainly, it is your right to condemn Israeli blockade of Gaza, but I think that such condemnation should be base on correct data, since it is not possible to build truth on lie.

[ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : Natural Gas does not obey a line drawn on a map. What I am trying to indicate is that the exploitation of the so-called “Israeli” Natural Gas fields will almost inevitably draw on the “Palestinian” Natural Gas fields. This would be analagous to the Israelis drawing on Palestinian water by using the aquifers which run under Palestinian territory :-

“The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities.”

“On Jan. 18, just hours after a cease-fire began in the Gaza Strip, Israel announced the discovery of a major natural gas field off its northern Mediterranean coast.”

“…Despite Israel’s vast offshore area most of their activities happens to be at both extremities of their zone. In the North we see them drilling almost on the border with Lebanon and in the South we see them drilling on the border with Gaza. I have seen this scenario in many other regions of the world whereby a company drills close to international borders in order to stake their claim. In some cases concerns have been raised that such techniques are not only considered to be intimidating, but also has the potential to drill under such borders and exploit someone else’s oil or gas reserves…The Tamar field in the North could possible stagger the border with Lebanon and, should this be the case, then internationally speaking the reserves would be jointly owned. In the South we have exactly the same situation between the Gaza Marine Area and adjacent Israeli waters. This uncertainty is totally unacceptable and should never be allowed to develop. Oil and gas exploration companies and their respective contracted governments should always look for more diplomatic ways of carrying out such exploration projects, especially in such politically sensitive areas. It could be considered both intimidating and most undiplomatic if such activities take place without consultation with the adjacent country. To give an example we can look at the situation developing further South. At the moment the Israelis are pumping gas from their Mari-B well to onshore Israel. This gas field sits right on the Gaza border and one could ask the same question, does the Mari-B field extend into Gaza? To the West of this commercial gas field are other explored reserves known as Noa and Noa South. In the case of the latter two these reserves do stagger the border with Gaza and therefore should be considered as jointly owned. Let’s now consider the intention of Israel to bring the Noa and Noa South wells into commercial production. The companies involved can create a subsea connection between the existing Mari-B system to the above wells and the entire gas reserves would then flow directly to onshore Israel without any involvement or knowledge of the authorities in Gaza/Palestine who legally jointly own them! If the legal fraternity in Lebanon offered help to the people of Gaza and the West Bank, they could all sit down together and find a way of taking Israel to The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Court of Justice. This action alone would finally clarify international borders and challenge the legal ownership of any disputed oil and gas reserves and at the same time help Gaza recover its lost fishing zone that is so vital to its people. It is imperative that both Lebanon and Palestine in their own right participate in current and future oil and gas exploration programmes by carrying out Joint Ventures (JV) with international drilling companies. These JV should show the owners of such potential reserves as being the majority share holder, which was not the case in Gaza. Such actions should be taken without delay in order to challenge the Israeli claim and to ascertain if in fact the Tamar gas field does extend over the border. Should Lebanon prove this to be the case, then legally both countries share in its ownership. With today’s drilling technology it is extremely easy for a drilling company on the Israeli side to take oil/gas from adjacent waters by using slant/diagonal drilling techniques. The map below gives some idea of the respective locations of the Tamar Gas Field on the border with Lebanon and the Noa Gas Field to the West of the Mari-B Gas Field which does stagger the border with Gaza. I must draw an emphasis to the fact that this map shows bias towards Israel and does not show any of these fields extending into Gazan waters-when in actual fact they do. [Peter Eyre is a Middle East Consultant living in the UK.]” ]

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