The Nobel Energy consortium developing Israel’s offshore “Tamar” natural gas fields has signed a half a billion dollar deal to export gas over the next 15 years to Jordan’s Arab Potash Co. and Jordan Bromine Co.
The exports could grow to $30 billion over a longer period of time.
Nobel and its Israeli partners Delek, Isramco and Alon Natural Gas. Will build a pipeline from the Dead Sea Works to the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy at the State Department Amos Hochstein has held more than a dozen meetings with Jordanian and Israeli businessmen and political leaders over the past 18 months to help negotiate the Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were involved.
Jordan is increasingly dependent on Israel, which already supplies the kingdom with water, and the significance of Israel’s recent oil and gas discoveries has been under-exaggerated, both economically and financially.
The consortium operating the Tamar gas field previously have signed a 20-year contract to sell $1.2 billion worth of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority.
The purchases by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority come at the expense of Egypt, which has been a totally unreliable supplier thanks to terrorists who frequently blow up the pipeline that brings gas from El Arish to Israel and Jordan.
The deal with Jordan “will pave the way for additional export projects which could enhance regional cooperation as well as provide additional supply to the domestic market and enhanced security of supply through development of additional reservoirs and infrastructure,” said Noble Energy VP Eastern Mediterranean Lawson Freeman.
The new natural gas industry in Israel is creating thousands of jobs for laborers and engineers and also has helped turned the shekel into one of the world’s strongest currencies against the dollar.
Politically, Israel’s energy sources and water resources , thanks to desalinization plants, are creating conditions that will make the Palestinian Authority and Jordan a lot less belligerent while leaving Egypt to wallow in its own economic and political anarchy that was hastened by the Arab Spring revolutions.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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