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Israel Self-Sufficient from Natural Gas Discovery?


Israel National News reported in early July that reserves of natural gas discovered near Haifa are larger than initially estimated, and could be enough to make the whole country energy self-sufficient for two decades.

CEO of Delek Energy, Yitzchak Tshuva, “Israel today is independent – completely independent with blue and white [Israeli-made] energy.”

The largest company in the project, Noble Energy, made a statement that confirmed the size of the find. “With drilling at Tamar and Dalit, we have already confirmed a very substantial amount of natural gas resources, perhaps over two decades of future supply based on projected needs,” said Charles D. Davidson, Noble’s CEO. Plans are now being made to being to bring the gas online as soon as 2012. Income generated by the local gas could be as much as $35 billion. 6.3 trillion cubic feet is the estimate of the total amount in the gas reserves.  

In related energy news, Israel Electric Corp (IEC) stated recently they use natural gas to generate 40 percent of their electricity. (IEC provides nearly all the eletrical power in Israel). The company is able to produce about 3,700 megawatts from natural gas. Using natural gas reduces air pollution and operational costs. Yakov Hain, IEC’s senior vice president of engineering projects, said “We will continue to develop our ability to produce electricity using natural gas in order to make a significant contribution to air quality and the environment”.

Coal-based powerplants will not be completely phased out; only reduced in number. Some will be kept operational to provide energy security. Eventually it’s possible that only 20% of electricity would be generated from coal.

Image Credit: Two Thumbs

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