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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Menendez Dismembers Iran Deal, Suggests More Robust Deal

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doubled down on his position that the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his American team of negotiators, along with the U.S. partners in the P5+1, is a bad one that should not go into effect.

Menendez did that by holding a highly-publicized address at 1:00 p.m. E.T., on Thursday, Aug. 18, from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in South Orange, New Jersey.

During this address, Menendez meticulously explained why he will not vote for the Agreement and why he will vote to override the President’s veto.

When he completed his analysis, it was hard to understand how anyone could say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is something any country except Iran would support.

AN OIL-RICH NATION DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY

The over-arching question, as Menendez put it, is why Iran, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of oil reserves, needs nuclear power for domestic energy. Given this vast reserve, there is no peaceful use of nuclear energy at all, and therefore no legitimate reason for Iran to have any right to enrichment.

Given Iran’s lack of a peaceful need for nuclear energy coupled with that nation’s repeated acts of “deceit, deception and delay” to evade United Nations Security Council Resolutions and thereby approach being a nuclear weapon state, it is indeed hard to make the argument for this Agreement.

Menendez spoke for nearly a full hour. He explained why Iran does not need nuclear energy and he reminded his audience of Iran’s repeated evasions of inspections.

EVERY RED LINE WAS ERASED

The New Jersey Senator also described the many ways in which the JCPOA falls far short of so many absolute red lines and guarantees made by the U.S. administration during the course of the negotiations.

♦  The original goal was to “fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability,” a “roll-back your infrastructure and we’ll roll-back our sanctions.”

Instead, Menendez explained, the JCPOA is the equivalent of “an alarm bell should they decide to violate their commitments, and a system for inspections to verify their compliance.”

♦ When Menendez asked Secretary of State Kerry about dismantling Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, Kerry said: “They will either dismantle it or we will destroy it.”

Arak will not be dismantled, merely “redesigned.”

♦ The original position was that Iran’s underground Fordow facility would be closed because a peaceful civilian nuclear program would not need to be underground.

Fordow will not be dismantled, merely “repurposed.”

♦ Iran was supposed to “come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.”

Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program at Parchin.

Menendez said that over the course of the negotiations, the original goal of preventing nuclear proliferation instead become merely one of “managing or containing” nuclear proliferation.

Just as alarming is that during the course of the deal under its current terms, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development. By the end of the term of the Agreement, Iran will be in a better position – meaning further along on its path to nuclear weapons capability – than it was before the deal was adopted.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment,” Menendez explained.

In addition, the terms of the JCPOA ensure that the EU and the U.S. will not reintroduce or reimpose the sanctions lifted under this deal. That’s because, if sanctions are reintroduced or reimposed, that will “relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole.” There will be no incentive for any party to this agreement to find any violations, as that would erase any progress that was made.

Israel Energy Use Breaks Record High in Heat Wave

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Israel’s energy consumption broke all previous records on Sunday (August 2) as a massive heat wave hit the region, escalating in the afternoon to new highs.

Electricity usage in the Jewish State peaked at 3:30 pm in the afternoon to 12,525 megawatts. This left a reserve of approximately 900 megawatts, according to the Israel Electric Corporation – a very slim margin indeed.

The previous record for peak summer consumption was reached at 11,880 megawatts on July 19, 2012.

The all-time record high usage – for all weather, all seasons and all times – was reached this year at 11,930 megawatts on January 12, 2015.

The new all-time all-season usage record was set on Sunday at 12,525 megawatts – but the week and the heat wave – are just beginning.

Temperatures are not expected to drop until nearly the end of this week.

Southern Israel Solar Field of 134 Acres Connected to Electric Grid

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A French national electric company subsidiary hooked up the 134-acre solar field in the Arava in southern Israel Wednesday, making the solar farm the largest in national electric grid.

Arava Power jointly owns the solar field with the French company, EDF Énergies Nouvelles Israel.

Planning for the solar field began six years ago, and constructing finally began seven months ago, more than year after financing was arranged.

The farm consists of 140,343 solar panels.

The French subsidiary in Israel also building another solar park and has wind power projects in the pipeline.

Solar energy provides only a tiny fraction of Israel’s electricity, but the long-term is that the sun will be the source for 27 percent of the country’s electric by 2050.

Natural Gas Discovered in Egypt’s Nile Delta; Will Israeli Gas Still Be Needed?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Natural gas waits for no bureaucracy, and consumers clamor for energy no matter what. Cairo cannot wait for Jerusalem to untangle its political squabbling and eternal red tape.

Instead, Italian energy company Eni was given the green light to search for more gas off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and along the Nile, according to UPI Business News.

This week, the company announced its efforts have met with success.

Italian energy company Eni said in a statement to media, “Preliminary estimates of the discovery account for a potential of 530 billion cubic feet of gas in place with upside, plus associated condensates.”

The firm signed two off-shore deep-water Mediterranean exploration agreements in January after a 2013 auction held by Cairo. The exploration follows a $5 billion framework agreement signed in March to develop Egypt’s oil and gas reserves.

The new reservoir was found in the Nooros exploration prospect in the Abu Madi West license area, about 75 miles northeast of Alexandria, according to the report. The discovery is emblematic of the company’s strategy to “focus on Egyptian assets close to existing infrastructure and with high resource potential,” Eni said in its statement.

The new discovery will go into production by September, using nearby existing gas treatment facilities, UPI reported. Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954. The company currently has an equity production of some 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

One month ago, Emirati energy firm Dana Gas also announced plans to launch a new drilling campaign in Egypt. Under the deal, Dana will have the right to sell the government’s share of the reserves.

Israeli Energy Exports to Egypt As far back as April 2014, Israel and Egypt have been discussing a deal to export Israel’s natural gas to Cairo. Deals were already signed by Israel with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority despite the diplomatic friction with the latter.

This past February, the Noble Energy-Delek Group which owns the mammoth Israeli Leviathan gas field sent a delegation to Cairo to discuss Israeli gas export to Egypt from the offshore Tamar gas field. The gas would flow to Egypt’s Damietta LNG (liquified natural gas) plant, according to Egyptian oil ministry sources who spoke with Reuters.

The Egyptian government finalized a long-delayed deal for an LNG import terminal and has already reached an agreement to import gas from Algeria. Talks between Cairo and Russia are continuing.

Egypt is also negotiating for gas imports from the Aphrodite reservoir in Block 12 of Cyprus. The island nation recently nixed a bid to import gas from Israel’s Leviathan field for its own domestic use, due to the ongoing snarl of red tape that has been tying up industrial progress on Leviathan in general.

Noble-Delek Talks with BG in Egypt Noble-Delek group, meanwhile, is doing its best to carry on despite the Israeli penchant for bureaucracy. The group remains in talks with Britain’s British Gas (BG) Group that runs one of Egypt’s LNG plants, as well as with the Egyptian Dolphinus Group.

The consortium spent most of last year discussing the deal to build the $2.2 billion 10 billion cubic meter (bcm) sub-sea pipeline to link up with the BG facility, to be completed by 2023.

The group also signed a letter of intent with BG that states “if Leviathan is not developed on schedule, Aphrodite will supply them with the gas they need,” according to an industry source. A similar letter of intent to sell 2.5 b.cu.m. annually to Dolphinus was signed several months ago, using the Tamar field as the source for the gas. The partners said at the time the gas could flow for private industry within 2015.

Israel Refuses to Pay $1.1 Billion Swiss Court Award to Iran

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Israel says it will not pay a $1.1 billion award to Iran over a dispute dating back to the period of the Islamic Revolution, won by Tehran this week in the Swiss Federal Court.

“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” read a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The response came after the court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), to pay the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) $1.1 billion over a joint venture that began long before the ayatollahs seized Tehran’s government. The plaintiffs also demanded $7 million in legal fees, although it is not clear whether the court approved the charge. In addition, the court allowed Iran to file a $7 billion arbitration claim against the Jewish State.

In 1968, the two countries made a deal to carry oil from Asia to Eilat and on to Europe. At the time, the NIOC delivered 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil, worth $450 million, to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil (TAO), Ltd.

The oil moved via a pipeline that reached from Israel’s southernmost port eastward to its Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, and then up the coast to its northern port of Haifa.

Today, the EAPC pipeline in Israel stretches approximately 750 kilometers, according to the company’s website.

The ayatollahs cut off Iran’s business with Israel – and its deal with EAPC –as soon as the ruling Shah was eliminated from the government, saying the Islamic Republic did not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation. To this day, Iran still vows to “wipe the Zionist entity from the map of the world.”

Israel seized Iranian assets and launched a counter-suit to offset its own losses after the deal went sour.

Iran and P5+1 Agree to ‘Key Parameters’ with Unknown Clauses [video]

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Iran and the P5+1 powers announced Thursday afternoon they have reached an understanding of “key parameters” for a final agreement that will remove sanctions on Iran and would require it to allow verified inspections of its nuclear program.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that “many technical details” must be ironed out.

President Barack Obama called it a “good deal” that will keep Iran from getting its hands on weapons grade plutonium and would require enriched uranium to be shipped out of Iran.

He said the arrangement is better than “bombing Iran and starting a new war in the Middle East” and would only set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years. Kerry said that the nuclear facility at Natanz is the only plant that will continue to operate and where the uranium is low grade.

No other enrichment material will remain, and the Fordo nuclear plant will be converted to a “research and development “center.

Kerry also said that the heavy water reactor will be converted so that it cannot be used for the development of a nuclear weapon.

Iran is required to ship all enrich uranium out of the country, and it is committed not to build any more heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced, “Our decision today will be the base for the start of drafting the Joint the Plan of Action (the final deal) which should end by the July 1 deadline.”

He said all sanctions will be lifted, but Kerry stated that this will happen in stages until a final agreement is made by midnight June 30.

One of the most interesting parts of the “key parameters” is that  some clauses may not be made public except to governments and Congress.

The key elements are inspections and access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, to which Kerry said Iran has agreed.

President Obama said in his remarks after the announcement of “key parameters” that he is maintained to the security of Israel and that he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Iran will reduce the number of its centrifuges to around 6.000, including 5,000 at Natanz for industrial-scale enrichment and 1,000 at Fordo, but not for enrichment.

The kicker is Zarif’s statement that not everyone will understand the “key parameters” the same way. Fars News Agency reported::

He [Zarif] cautioned that the seven nation’s party to the nuclear talks might present today’s agreement in different ways as they see fit.

The same Foreign Minister Zarif said earlier today that “no agreement will be announced today,” a sure sign that something would indeed be announced, even it is called “key parameters.”

But Obama reassured the American people that although the emerging deal will not remove distrust between Iran and the United States, Iran is committed to using its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

How does he know?

Because the Islamic Republic has supposedly issued a religious fatwa forbidding nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post reported a year and a half ago on whether the there is such fatwa or it is simply a statement:

Even if one believes the fatwa exists — and will not later be reversed — it clearly appears to have evolved over time. U.S. officials should be careful about saying the fatwa prohibits the development of nuclear weapons, as that is not especially clear anymore.

President Obama covered all the bases in his remarks at the White House,. He said he has spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia and is looking forward to a lively debate” with Congress.

Tamar Group To Sell Gas To Egypt Through Same Old Pipeline Built For Gas Exports To Israel

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Published by Jewish Business News

A consortium of private, industrial, and commercial Egyptian companies will buy at least $1.2 billion of natural gas from Israel’s offshore Tamar field, through the very same pipeline Egypt had used to send gas to Israel.

On Wednesday, the Tamar partners announced a seven-year deal with Dolphinus Holdings, with a minimum 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to be sold in the first three years.

But Reuters cites an energy source in Israel who said the deal is likely to be more than three times higher, as Egypt has been facing an energy crisis.

The gas will run through the underwater pipeline constructed almost 10 ago by East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which executed the Egyptian-Israeli natural gas deal killed by the President Morsi government, and attacks on the pipeline by Salafi terrorists in the Sinai.

A lot of water ran through the River Nile since.

Texas-based Noble Energy is the field’s operator.

Chairman of Delek Drilling Yossi Abu, said the deal highlights Israel role as “an energy anchor for countries in the region” and that the deal will “radically change Israel’s geopolitical status.”

The Dolphinus deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals in Israel, Egypt and from the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tamar-group-to-sell-gas-to-egypt-through-same-old-pipeline-built-for-gas-exports-to-israel/2015/03/19/

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