Israel has realized that its recent discovery of large natural gas reserves offshore is a mixed blessing. The flow of natural gas from one of the two fields is expected within days. Expects in natural gas believe the new discovery of natural gas is enough for domestic use for Israel for decades.
Those same experts also feel that the deposits of natural gas will transform the country that is famously lacking in natural resources into an energy exporter. Nevertheless, exporting the gas overseas does not come without its problems. Israel will be risking angering not only its allies but also its enemies. Due to this amount of uncertainty, lawmakers in Israel have yet to complete their export policy for the energy source.
The gas fields were first discovered by Israel in 2009 and 2010. The smaller of the two is Tamar, while the larger is Leviathan. Tamar is estimated to hold more than 8.5 trillion cubic feet and is set to start pumping natural gas into Israel over the next couple of days.
The bigger one, Leviathan, has an estimated deposit of 16 to 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That one will start pumping sometime during 2016, at which time most feel the country will begin to export natural gas.
These new gas deposits pale in comparison to the size of those found in Qatar, Iran and Russia, but will provide more than enough for domestic use in Israel, which will lower Israel’s reliance on coal and oil that is much dirtier and costlier.
Exporting the gas could be difficult as it might upset Turkey, if Israel cooperates with Cyprus and it could upset Russia, if it sends the gas to Europe.