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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Israel Hits Course to Energy Independence at 4 PM Saturday

The use of the gas will commence within 24 hours.
The Israeli Tamar drilling rig, 56 miles off shore.

The Israeli Tamar drilling rig, 56 miles off shore.

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After about four years rife with many delays, and after great difficulties in obtaining funding for the Tamar drilling platform, at precisely 4 PM Saturday natural gas began to flow from the site, 56 miles off shore, to the Yam Tethys reservoir in Ashdod.

The first injection was supposed to be done the day before, on Friday, but was delayed due to disagreements with officials at the Ministry of Energy, who tried to add last minute additional conditions before issuing the final permit to let the gas flow to Israel.

The use of the gas will commence within 24 hours. The gas is transferred from the sea through a special pipeline installed along the bottom of the sea to the Yam Tethys reservoir. It will flow from there to a gas absorption station in Ashdod and transferred from there to company customers: Electric Company power stations, and private power plants owned by the refineries in Haifa and Ashdod and Israel’s petrochemical plants.

Tamar natural gas is being produced thanks to huge investments totaling billions of dollars from a host of companies, mainly Noble Energy which owns 36% of the gas, and which also did the actual drilling at Tamar. Its three partners are: Delek Drilling (31%), Isramco (29%) and Dor Alon (4%).

The Tamar gas reservoir contains enough natural gas to support the Israeli economy’s needs for 25-30 years. The other big drilling site, Leviathan, is expected to provide the needs of the local economy for another 50 years. Absent any export sales, these two drilling platforms will enable Israel to achieves energy independence for more than 75 years.

The two sites also promise Israeli citizens cheaper energy sources, which are also less polluting than diesel and fuel oil.

The Bank of Israel estimates that the anticipated tens of billions received as taxes from the new sites, Israel’s economy may generate an additional growth rate of as much as 2 percent per year. Israel’s remarkable 2010 growth rate of 5% has slowed to 4.6% in 2011, and 3.3% in 2012. These rates have still outpaced most of the world’s industrial economies, and a close to 50% boost in growth from the new energy source could put Israel ahead of much of the free world in terms of economic activity.

The new Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom said on Saturday afternoon that this is an “historical moment,” pointing out that it was only fitting that on the holiday of freedom, Israel is achieving energy and economic freedom.

“This day raises great pride,” Shalom said, adding that “the Tamar gas production will decrease the electric company’s production costs and will lead in the future to reducing the cost of power to the Israeli consumer.”

Businessman Yitzhak Tshuva, one of the main owners of the reservoir, said: “The vision became a reality. Now we’re going once again out of bondage. From dependence on foreign energy sources, we’ve come to blue and white natural gas independence. This is a great achievement for the Israeli economy and the beginning of a new era.”

Tshuva estimates that “this project will change the face of the Israeli economy and ensure the state’s energy independence. This is a new era full of opportunities for the Israeli economy, which can use the advantages of natural gas environmentally, geo-politically, socially and economically, and turn Israel into a major international player.”

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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25 Responses to “Israel Hits Course to Energy Independence at 4 PM Saturday”

  1. I’m happay for them.

  2. Ruth Hirt says:

    It is Eloihim Yahweh at work. HIS promise to prosper and give peace to HIS people.

  3. Ruth Hirt says:

    It is Eloihim Yahweh at work. HIS promise to prosper and give peace to HIS people.

  4. Aron Bally says:

    Congradulations. We are happy for this energy independance.The stronger Israel becomes, the safer we feel in the countries we live!

  5. Aron Bally says:

    Congradulations. We are happy for this energy independance.The stronger Israel becomes, the safer we feel in the countries we live!

  6. Now that is leading by example!

  7. Ilan Rashkevitch says:

    Baruch Hashem,no more dependence on energy from
    Enemies and puppeteers.this is one good thing I can say about this government,disregard green ****tards.however I seriously doubt that were gonna have "cheaper energy" unless it's time for the annual bone the government gives the people for the feeling of "we're on your side"

  8. Israel is going once again out of bondage. From dependence on foreign energy sources, to blue and white natural gas independence. This is a great achievement for the Israeli economy and the beginning of a new era with great potential and opportunities, which can turn Israel into a major international player….all it needs, is to have WISE leadership, it yet to have.

  9. Jack Kalman says:

    Nurit, They don't have wise leadership? Why?

  10. Joe Land says:

    Praise GOD!

  11. Mary Hale says:

    I'm so happy for Israel..

  12. I am going to visit Israel in 25 days.

  13. Cielo Eunice says:

    Congrats Israel! we knew it was there lol.

  14. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    No "wise" leadership? It's called a democratically elected government chosen by her citizens. Unlike the current US government, Israel is not and will not become a fascist state. And THAT IS wise leadership

  15. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Now that obama has seen that his "who love's you tour" of Israel was a failure (a 1% bump in favorability is a dismal failure) expect his return to what he really is: By next month after he returns from yet another $10MILLION taxpayer paid for vacation) he will again issue speeches – probably with the ottoman president at his side – demanding Israel return to the "pre-67" borders, and share all the profits from the gas fields with the so-called "Palestinians", Hezbollah and the ottomans.

  16. AMatteo del Marrone says:

    Where are you coming from with this nonsense "lack of wise leadership"?

  17. AMatteo del Marrone says:

    Bibi

  18. Give me examples of wise leadership in Israel. Israel has ambiguous schizophrenic leadership

  19. Way to go Israel. Congratulations, I am so happy for my mother country.

  20. HaShem smiles on his people!

  21. HaShem smiles on his people!

  22. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Nurit Greenger How YOU give the example of schizophrenia nurit! YOU are making the accusations. Or are you full of BS without content

  23. Joseph Friedlander says:

    It would not have harmed anything to wait a few hours until after Shobbos even if a non-Jew was turning the valve. This gas is a Divine gift, well timed. (How’d you like to be dependent on gas from Egypt just now??) We should act gratefully and publically demonstrate that gratitude.

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