We recently wrote about "Saudi America," meaning that, thanks to increasing gas reserves, the US will soon no longer be so dependent on Middle Eastern oil as oil-fired manufacturing processes, like coal, are moving to the burning of gas. This will be a relief, since we’ve had bad relations with many countries in that part of the world. But the country that has REALLY had trouble with Middle Eastern dictatorships is the beleaguered democracy of Israel, but now that country has discovered oil, so it may be able to be energy-independent as well.
With reserves of almost 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Sedco Express has been drilling in the Tamar field, off the coast of Israel, for almost three years. When Tarmar was discovered in January of 2008, it was the biggest gas find in the world, with reserves of almost 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas–enough to power Israel for the next 25 years.
In the September 1st edition of the Financial Times, Tobias Buck writes that "the country has been in the midst of an intense and often controversial debate over how best to use the new resources at its disposal. All the classic dilemmas associated with hydrocarbon discoveries have resurfaced, though often with a surprising Israeli twist. Should the gas be exported or used at home? What share of the new wealth belongs to the government and what to the companies that made the discoveries in the first place? And how far should Israel go towards turning itself into a ‘gassified’ national economy, in which power stations, homes, industry and the transportation system alike all run on natural gas?"
Buck writes that, instead of bringing peace, the gas field could also become a "focal point for tensions, and perhaps even a target for Israel’s many enemies. Others hope that the gas will serve as a force for good, and help Israel build economic and political bridges to its neighbors, some of whom remain as energy-starved as Israel was until recently."
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