Natural Gas a Boon to Israel
From Calgary Herald
By Deborah Yedlin
The Israeli Minister for Energy and Water Resources, Uzi Landau, touched down in wintry Calgary this week – miles removed from the sunny climes of the Mediterranean Sea, where trillions of cubic feet of natural gas has been discovered.
Prior to stopping in Calgary, Landau had met with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver in Toronto, during which time an agreement was signed establishing a $5 million Canada-Israel science and technology fund aimed at collaborating on the development of innovative energy technologies. While Israel’s energy industry is in its nascent stages, scratch the surface and a number of the issues it is grappling with are not far removed from the challenges faced by Canada’s energy players – security of supply weighted against security of demand, what to do with the newfound revenues, the development of new technologies to exploit the resource and best practices in terms of regulation.
Israel, since the state was established in 1948, has been dependent on external suppliers to meet its energy needs.
In 1973, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War and the Arab oil embargo, reality struck in terms of the need for energy self sufficiency.
“We need to be less on the hook of others that hold many of us hostage,” said Landau, adding energy self-sufficiency would improve Israel’s geopolitical standing in the region. But it would take until 1999, when U.S.-based Samedan Oil Corporation discovered the Noah field, in the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Israel.