Skip to comments.Israel’s oil could provoke next war
Posted on 06/16/2011 7:29:35 AM PDT by ShadowAce
Does Israel have oil? The very phrase Israels oil could change the game in the Middle Eastand provoke all-out war.
The Zion Oil and Gas Company has been looking for oil along the Mediterranean coast, and just south of the Sea of Galilee, for several years. Two days ago they announced that they had drilled a test well in their Joseph License lands (between Haifa and Tel Aviv) to 5900 meters. They earlier found large hydrocarbon deposits at the site, usually a good sign.
In August of 2010, the Givot Olam company announced a find of 1.5 billion barrels near Rosh HaAyin (literally head of the spring). But the Israeli newspaper HaAretz (The Land) pointed out that the reserve would be far too small, and Givot Olam could never hope to pump the oil out fast enough to make a dent in Israels oil imports.
But Israel has discovered two huge fields of natural gas:
Then on April 9, 2011, came this stunning announcement. The Israel Energy Initiative now hopes to extract oil from shale near the Shfela Basin, southwest of Jerusalem. Harold Vinegar, formerly of Royal Dutch Shell, guesses that the Shfela shale sands hold 250 billion barrels of oil. Thats almost as much as the proved reserves in Saudi Arabia (260 billion barrels). (More here.)
John Brown of Zion Oil and Gas, and Tovia Luskin of Givot Olam, both cite the Bible for clues. Specifically, they cite Deuteronomy, Moses farewell to the Israelites before he died.
Blessed of the LORD be [Josephs] land, with the choice things of heaven, with the dew, and from the deep lying beneath [ch. 33:13]
[T]hey will draw out the abundance of the seas, and the hidden treasures of the sand. [ch. 33:19]
May [Asher] dip his foot in oil. [ch. 33:24]
Those verses have come true, though not exactly as Brown and Luskin guessed. Shale oil is surely a hidden treasure in the sand. The offshore natural gas wells are abundances of the seas.
If Israels oil existed as shale, that would be enough. But the original Hebrew verb in verse 19 speaks of sucking, not merely drawing. Israelis often speculate that the Saudi oil reserves lie in a pool that extends under Israeli territory. They dream of drilling a well into that pool and sucking out Saudi Arabias vaunted reserves.
Israeli Jews tell a standing joke: Moses took a wrong turn, because he led his people to the one place in the Middle East with no oil. In 1967, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Gamal Abdel Nasser. For ten years Israel did have oil. But in 1977, Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt, in return for a right of first refusal on oil from the Sinai. That agreement, part of the peace treaty with Egypt, will not last, if the Freedom and Justice Party (a Muslim Brotherhood movement) has its way.
Almost since the Camp David Accords, Israelis have longed for a reliable energy source of their own, or at least any energy source other than oil. (The Israel Electric Company has one power plant along the Coastal Road between Caesaria Maritima and Tel Aviv that can burn coal, and has no commercial nuclear program.)
Hosni Mubarak signed another agreement in 2008 to supply Israel with natural gas. When American and Israeli gas explorers found the Tamar and Leviathan fields, business experts said that the Egyptians would undersell them anyway, so that they wouldnt make any money from them. That was before the Arab Spring. Terrorists have sabotaged the Egyptian gas pipeline twice. The gas is back on, but it will not stay on. And the government knows it.
But if Israel has oil, none of that need matter anymore.
The best part of this news is: Israels oil lies west of the 1949 Armistice Line.
The Shfela Basin lies well to the west of the Jerusalem-Bethlehem road and hence outside the West Bank region. Nevertheless, multinational oil companies have never wanted to help develop Israels oil resources. They have not wanted to lose their connections to Arab oil. And on that account, they are walking away from an oil reserve almost as large as that of Saudi Arabia.
IEI is a subsidiary of the American telecommunications company IDT (Newark, NJ). IEI hopes to extract the shale oil at a surprisingly low cost: $35 to $40 a barrel, or about the same as it costs to pump oil from some offshore wells. Moreover, Vinegar believes that he can take this oil without harming the environment. The well also produces natural gas, which he will burn on-site to heat the rocks to release the oil. So IEI will not have to dig a big hole in the ground or have any wastes to dispose of.
It will probably mean war, for two reasons. First, the West Bank and Gaza lands have none of this shale. So the Palestinian Arabs would get no royalties. All the royalties would flow to Israel.
Second, the Arabs always threatened to shut off oil to the West if they either stopped the Arabs from wiping out Israel, or didnt stop Israel from wiping them out. They did it in and after the Yom Kippur War. But this time, Israel would not only have all the fuel it needed, but would be able to make up the difference, or close to it, by selling oil directly to America and Europe.
Obviously, the Arabs would not want to lose their strategic advantage. Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe is confident that Israels oil would buy peace. But your editor is not so confident. Expect more and bolder terrorist attacks against the Shfela Basin oil field. The terrorists might stage out of Gaza, which is very close to Shfela.
Remember, also, that the Leviathan field is near the Lebanon side of the Armistice Line. Not only Israels oil, but Israels gas could be a target of an all-out attack by Syria and Hamas (the group that runs Gaza).
The phrase Israels friends is almost oxymoronic today. Israels oil would change that. For one thing, Israel would stop depending on American foreign aid. (They might even be more likely to lend us help!) An independentand independently wealthyIsrael could at last build its own aircraft industry. Israel already exports high technology, and famously exports small arms. Now imagine Israel exporting jet fighters. The only reason that Israel does not build a plane equal to the General Dynamics F-16 is that the US State Department told them to stop developing it, or America would cut off its funds. Israels oil would mean that Israels own money could help build that plane after all.
In Europe, motor fuel prices are even higher than they are here. Israels oil could bring those prices down, and at least let Europe choose whether to depend on the Arabsor not. (The Arabs surely know this, and cannot welcome this news.) But they might not make the wise choice. Anti-Jewish sentiment is building in Italy, Turkey, and elsewhere. The idea of Israel having oil might foster resentment, not a friendly attitude.
Howard Vinegar guesses that he can deliver shale oil from the Shfela Basin by 2017. War might break out sooner than that, if the Arabs decide that they dont want to risk losing their edge over Israel. The ancient Philistines tried hard to keep the Israelites dependent on Philistine metalworkers, in fear that Israel would develop its own armament industry. (I Samuel 13:19) Today the Arabs will lose their oil weaponand they might not take that loss gracefully.
More likely to be war over water.
Water war leaves Palestinians thirsty
The River Jordan (white line, top right) is a crucial water source in the region
Like many other things in the region, water is in hot dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
I remember years ago my brother-in-law (he’s Jewish) saying there would be war over water in Israel. At the time I thought he was crazy.
And yes--I do realize they are fiction. :)
Perhaps. This article does remind me of Joel Rosenberg’s books though.
And yes—I do realize they are fiction. :)
Fiction yet prophetic. He wrote about things that later happened.
Often fiction is a reflection of fact, though.
I know. It just feels surreal to be living through a novel. :)
Sometimes I’m just awed by the realization that I happen to live in Biblically history-making times as I see events coming together.
I know exactly what you mean. It's very humbling and exciting.
Buy Zion oil IPO ping
After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.
What happens next is catastrophic to all who come against Israel.
I heard a discussion the other day about this discovery of oil in Israel. The find is in Israel. None was found in Gaza or the West Bank area. I had to chuckle at that one. God is Awesome and His word comes to pass. So much more to say... other than seek the Lord while He may be found.
Those borders seem a bit optimistic. Where did they come from?
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Not to worry! I would supply ghem with my all natural living waters..
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