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Natural Gaza (4)

What’s wrong with this map ? Yes, the same old question. And the answer is again the same – the lack of geographical accuracy in the map reflects the lack of legal accuracy on the part of Israel in appropriating marine Natural Gas that belongs to the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The map is taken from a new research paper by Brenda Shaffer, of the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, which has been accepted for publication in Energy Policy at some point in the near future :-
“Energy Policy : Article in Press, Corrected Proof : doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.05.026 : Israel – New natural gas producer in the Mediterranean : Brenda Shaffer : Received 7 November 2010; accepted 16 May 2011. Available online 2 June 2011”

I have checked part of the research paper, and this is what I have found :-

“Abstract : In 2009 and 2010, major offshore natural gas reserves were discovered near the State of Israel.”

Right, so the reserves were found near the State of Israel, but not actually in the State of Israel. Is this an early admission that the natural gas has been stolen from the Palestinian Gaza Strip ?

“…This article examines Israel’s newly discovered natural gas reserves and the implications of this discovery for Israel, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region…”

Yes, Israel discovered the natural gas, but that doesn’t mean it has the rights to exploit it. If the gas is within Gaza’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), then it belongs to Gaza.

“…These new discoveries significantly improve Israel’s energy security…”

Why does the discovery of natural gas under somebody else’s territory improve Israel’s energy security ?

“…The discoveries may contribute to the emergence of a number of maritime border delimitation conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean…”

Yes, there could well be further disputes apart from the ones already provoked with Lebanon.

“1. Introduction : For most of its history, Israel has been an energy-poor state, relying almost completely on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy needs…”

So we should pity poor Israel ?

“…Due to the state of war and conflict with most of its neighbors, Israel has also functioned as an ‘‘energy island,’’ not linked to energy infrastructure in neighboring states, with the exception of gas supplies from Egypt…”

This of course explains why Israel has been energy poor – it has provoked conflict with nations that could have traded energy with it.

“…Israel has two additional energy security challenges: ensuring energy supplies for the military during times of conflict and ensuring the physical security of its energy infrastructure, which can be targeted during war or by terrorists…”

What, so Israel needs the rights to steal Gaza’s Natural Gas in order to have the energy resources to wage war against Gaza ?

“…Moreover, Israel fears denial of supplies more than most energy importers, due to a history of embargos by Arab oil producers and previous attempts to block Israel’s ports in times of conflict…”

Israel’s paranoia is Israel’s problem – Israel only has itself to blame for continuing to exacerbate conflict.

“3. Israel’s natural gas reserves : Within a decade, Israel has gone from a country possessing virtually no domestic natural gas reserves to one that is considering exporting natural gas…”

So now Israel is thinking of capitalising on Gaza’s Natural Gas by selling it abroad – maybe even to Gaza ?

“…Since independence in 1948, Israel has encouraged exploration for oil and natural gas in its territory. Throughout its history, the Government of Israel has offered very attractive commercial conditions to prospective explorers as part of its attempt to improve its energy supply and thus its energy security. However, few major oil and gas companies showed interest in exploring for reserves in Israel. This is especially the case since any international company that explored for energy in Israel could be precluded from lucrative projects in Arab oil producing states that formally boycott companies, ships and equipment that operate in Israel […]. Consequently, Israel only had its first commercially recoverable discovery of fossil fuel in 1999, with natural gas discoveries at the Noa and Mari-B fields in the Mediterranean near Ashkelon (these fields are collectively known as Yam Tethys). A joint venture between Delek Energy and Noble Energy owns the production license at Yam Tethys, which contained 32 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas when it was discovered. Noble Energy is also the operator of the project.The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) purchased the bulk of the natural gas produced at Yam Tethys, enabling Israel’s initial use of natural gas for generation of electricity. Yam Tethys will be depleted in 2013…”

So, Israel will have emptied one of Gaza’s Natural Gas fields by 2013 – or be ready to give it up in a much depleted state then ? “Here you are, poor Gaza, have your Natural Gas field back. It’s a bit deflated. Sorry.”

“…Following the Yam Tethys breakthrough, British Gas discovered another field in 2000 off of Israel’s southern coast and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Marine Field contains approximately 35 BCM of natural gas. As of 2011, the Palestinian Authority and British Gas have not made a decision to develop production of the natural gas at Gaza Marine…”

So now British Gas enters onto the scene, aiding and abetting Israel in its quest to conquer and purloin yet more Gazan Natural Gas.

“4. Israel’s energy consumption trends : the role of natural gas : Israel’s energy consumption patterns have changed significantly in the first decade of the 21st century. Until 2004, Israel’s primary energy supply consisted of oil and coal and a very limited amount of renewable sources. Natural gas plays a growing but still small role in Israel’s total primary energy supply (TPES) : in 2008, natural gas was only the source of 10.6 per cent of Israel’s TPES, significantly below the OECD average of 25 per cent…”

So Gazan Natural Gas has been supporting up to 10.6% of the Israeli economy ? Where’s the compensation ?

“Fig. 2 : Natural gas entered Israel’s energy mix for the first time in 2004, when the domestic field of Yam Tethys began to supply the Israeli market. Natural gas consumption expanded in 2008, when the Eastern Mediterranean Gas and Oil (EMG) Company began importing natural gas from Egypt to Israel. Israel Electric Corporation signed a contract with EMG for 25 BCM of natural gas over 15 years. EMG constructed an undersea pipeline from El Arish in Egypt’s Sinai to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. The pipeline capacity allows supplies of up to 7 BCM annually. In 2010, EMG supplied 2.5 BCM of natural gas to consumers in Israel. With the combined supplies from Egypt and the domestic Yam Tethys fields, Israel consumed approximately 5.3 BCM of natural gas in 2010…”

The undersea pipeline was clearly built to completely bypass Gaza, so it could not have access to the Natural Gas. That point is important in what follows next.

“…In addition to its domestic consumption, Israel provides electricity to the Palestinian Authority. In 2010, 9 percent of Israel’s total electricity consumption consisted of electricity supplied to the Palestinian Authority…”

The author, like the State of Israel, is taking a paternalistic view of Gaza. How good of Israel to help Palestine by supplying them with electricity, generated with Natural Gas it stole from Gaza !

“…Almost all of the Palestinian Authority’s electricity supply comes from Israel, since the authority possesses a single diesel fueled 140 megawatt power station in the Gaza Strip…”

And why is there no other power station in the Gaza Strip ? And why has it been non-functioning at times in the past ? With the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israel is preventing economic development, including blocking the commissioning of new electricity generation in Gaza.

“…In future peace arrangements, the sides most likely will decide that the Palestinian Authority or its future successor should produce its own electricity, or at least a major portion of it…”

With what fuel ? I mean, Israel has already stolen all of Gaza’s Natural Gas that it’s found so far, and will probably steal the new fields’ production into the bargain. Will Gaza be forced to buy Natural Gas from Israel that was stolen from Gaza in the first place ?

“…This would reduce the growth rate of Israel’s electricity consumption. Utilization of the Gaza Marine gas field to produce electricity in the Gaza Strip could also lower pollution in the Gaza Strip and thus improve public health…”

This is perhaps the most irritating thing in the whole paper – the reason why public health is so poor in Gaza is because of continuing repression of the population and restrictions on imports and exports, preventing economic development.

And then, to cap it all, not only does Israel steal and administer the area’s energy, they also steal and manage the area’s water. And the paper has something to say about that, too.

“…In considering its future demand for natural gas, Israel also needs to take into consideration the needs of its neighbors, especially the Palestinian Authority and Jordan [… ] Instability among its neighbors affects Israel’s security, and thus Israel tends to plan regionally for water and energy needs. Natural gas is a good source of energy for water desalination plants and thus figures on future demand for natural gas need to take into consideration demand for water as well…”

So, when Israel has drained all the Palestinian water wells and aquifers dry, they will use stolen Gazan Natural Gas to burn to make electricity to desalinate sea water to sell to the Gazans. Brilliant ! The thievery will be complete and total. What a great way to keep Palestinians poor, hungry, unemployed, thirsty and under the thumb !
“Israel loots Gaza’s natural reserves : Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:23AM”

Free Free Gaza ! Free Free Palestine !
“Gaza ‘Flytilla’ activists arrested for chanting ‘Free Palestine’ at Tel Aviv airport : Published on 9 July 2011 in Israel.”

Alice Walker : To Gaza With Love

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