Israel considers arbitration over Egyptian gas
The supply of gas to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria was halted a month ago following a terrorist attack on the pipeline near El Arish in the Sinai and has yet to be resumed. There had been a previous attack in February which halted gas supplies for over a month. "Ahram Online" reports that supply to Israel will only resume after agreement is reached over a new price. "Israel has rejected Egypt’s plan to reconsider the price of gas and has threatened to resort to international arbitration," an official source in the Egyptian energy sector has told Egypt's "Ahram Online." The online newsletter commented, "The issue of gas prices has been a massive point of tension during the Mubarak regime. Many believed that Mubarak and his cronies sold Egypt’s gas to Israel and other countries at prices well below its value." Interestingly, Israel recently discovered a huge natural gas reservoir off its coast, and its estimated size makes it the largest such find in the world in the past decade. For the first time, this makes Israel a player on the world energy market, and has provided the nation a way to be less dependent on Arab oil. There are 15 oil and gas exploration companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, many of which participate in the profits of the recent energy discoveries.
Israel Infrastructures Ministry Map Shows Where Additional Oil Discovery is Likely
According to Petroleum Supervisor Dr. Yaakov Mimran, oil-bearing strata extend beyond the recent natural gas mega-discovery named Leviathan ("Whale"). Israel could become an oil powerhouse, according to maps presented by outgoing Petroleum Supervisor Dr. Yaakov Mimran at a lecture at Hebrew University of Jerusalem last month. He showed geologic maps of very deep Cretaceous strata in the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, which includes the Leviathan structure. The Leviathan 1 exploratory well is targeting strata a depth of 7,200 meters, which a 3D seismic survey indicates could contain 1.4 million barrels of oil with an 8% chance of geologic success. However, if oil is discovered in these deep strata, there is a strong chance of finding oil in other similar strata - and such strata appear on Mimran's map.