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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Russia Offers to Help Israel Develop Natural Gas Fields

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Consider it a form of ‘protection.’ Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has offered to invest in Israel’s natural gas development.

Diplomatic sources told the Middle East Newsline (MENL) on Wednesday, “Putin very much wants to make Russia into the major developer of energy fields in the Mediterranean, and the first target has been Israel.”

A decision last month by Israel’s High Court of Justice nullified a “stability clause” that would have blocked regulatory changes to an offshore gas outline for the next 10 years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had included the clause at the request of the consortium that developed the reserves, Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, in return for their massive investments.

The decision, however, may have killed the deal signed with the consortium and potential customers as a result. Although the court gave the government a year to fix the clause, it did little to soothe the fears of bureaucracy-exhausted investors, nor to prevent new customers from bolting.

Moreover, there have been attempts by Lebanon to claim Israel’s northernmost natural gas fields. One of the reserves is located off the coast of Nahariya, south of Lebanon’s territorial waters, and is a field Lebanon had never laid claim to until Israel discovered the gas and oil therein.

Hezbollah representatives spent months referring in various speeches to the reserve. Lebanon even attempted to recruit help from the United States in 2014 in seizing the reserve from Israel.

Putin, however, has pledged Russian influence to block attacks by Iranian proxies against any Russian-operated field. Efforts by Hezbollah to stop Israel from developing its natural resources beneath the Mediterranean would likely be among the targets of Russian ire.

More than one of Israel’s natural gas fields are located near Lebanese maritime borders.

According to the diplomatic source, Putin envisions an investment between $7 billion to $10 billion to develop Israeli offshore gas fields.

Several weeks ago, Putin said he plans to meet with Netanyahu in the nearest future, noting that Russia and Israel have “many issues” to discuss.

Israeli media reported this week that Netanyahu plans to travel to Moscow later in the month, allegedly on April 21, to meet with Putin.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told media on Wednesday that such a visit is indeed under consideration. “We will make a relevant statement in a timely manner” Peskov said, according to TASS.

Hana Levi Julian

European Union: ISIS Has Chemical and Biological Weapons

Monday, December 7th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) is armed with biological and chemical weapons but Europeans don’t take the existential threat seriously, according to a European Union parliament document.

Israeli experts last week also said ISIS is armed with weapons forbidden by the Geneva Convention and that it is a state in every sense of the word, with its own currency, a university and even license plates.

The London Express reported that the parliamentary report states that ISIS “may be planning to try to use internationally banned weapons of mass destruction in future attacks.” The document was prepared by the Parliament’s political analyst following the ISIS massacres in Paris last month.

ISIS has been trafficking in chemical weapons and also is able to manufacture them by putting together a team of experts with degrees in chemistry and physics.

The EU report, quoted by the Express, states:\

Chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear substances (CBRN) have been carried undetected into the European Union. Interpol’s monthly CBRN intelligence reports show numerous examples of attempts to acquire, smuggle or use CBRN materials.

At present, European citizens are not seriously contemplating the possibility that extremist groups might use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials during attacks in Europe. Under these circumstances, the impact of such an attack, should it occur, would be even more destabilizing.

Experts at an Israeli conference said that ISIS is a genuine state even if it not recognized by others, Globes reported.

It controls approximately one-third of Syria’s land, nearly 10 million people and earns approximately $300 million in day from the sale of oil it has confiscated in Iraq and Syria.

Besides its well-publicized black flag and army of barbaric terrorists, ISIS runs courts, schools, welfare agencies and even issues license plates. One of the experts said, “There is no precedent for anything like this in the past 100 years.”

Dr. Ronen Yitzchak, head of the Middle East Dept. at the Western Galilee College, said that the Western coalition has succeeded in seriously damaging the infrastructure of ISIS and in limiting its expansion. However, he added:

Despite weaknesses in the organization, it will not disappear and will continue to be present for many years. The Islamic State is not a temporary episode. It will continue to present a danger to the West and the entire world.

Terror will worsen in Europe, whether it is because of terrorists who are there now or because of those who be recruited in the future.

ISIS has succeeded in recruiting cells in dozens of countries, “something that has never been seen in terror groups,” Yitzchak said.

ISIS has its own currency, has minted gold and silver coins and soon will introduce bronze coins.

Its radical Islamic school system forbids studies in music, arts and Western subjects such as psychology.

The expert panel also revealed that every family is required to “contribute” one male adult to fight in the ISIS army, which comprises estimated 35,000-50,000 men.

Carmit Valensi, a research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies, said that ISIS has to be fought on several fronts and that active involvement of Middle East Muslim countries would create an alternative for the local population so they won’t feel totally dependent on ISIS.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Losing in Arbitration, Egypt Must Pay Israel $1.76 Billion for Gas Stoppage

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Israel Electric Corp on Sunday announced that Egyptian natural gas companies will pay compensation of $1.76 billion for stopping gas supplies in 2012, after Mohammed Morsi had been elected president. The termination, which followed months of terrorist attacks on the pipeline in the Sinai, reneged on a 20-year deal between Egypt and Israel. The state-owned IEC initially sued Egypt Mediterranean Gas for $4 billion in damages, but an international arbitrator awarded it only $1.76 billion plus interest and legal expenses.

IEC said it had sustained heavy damages as a result of Egypt’s blocking of gas supplies, forcing it to purchase more expensive fuel to generate electricity.

The Middle east Monitor noted that Egypt’s natural gas reserves had been depleted over the first decade of the 21st century, so that by 2008 “Egypt became a pure importer of energy.” In fact, after Egypt had exported natural gas to Israel since the mid-1990s, it will start importing Israeli gas in 2019 and 2020, for a period of 10 to 15 years. Apparently, well before the “Arab Spring,” still under the Hosni Mubarak regime, “Egyptian energy experts had warned their government of the consequences of continuing the strategy of exporting oil and natural gas for reasons associated with the imminent depletion of Egypt’s fuel resources.”

JNi.Media

Sufganiot Galore

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Sufganiot (doughnuts) for sale at the Marzipan bakery in the Machane Yehuda shuk in Jerusalem, before the holiday of Chanukah.

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

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US Contends: ISIS Oil Industry in Syria Crippled by Coalition Air Campaign

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

US military leaders say Syrian oil revenues to ISIS have been drastically cut by US-led coalition air strikes.

The Da’esh (ISIS) oil infrastructure in Syria has been crippled as a result of the attacks, according to a briefing by U.S. military spokesperson Col. Steve Warren Tuesday in Baghdad.

And yet, those oil facilities are only crippled — they’re still not out for the count, Warren acknowledged. “It’s not a knockout,” he said. “It’s a body blow.”

A month of air strikes has largely shut down the oil facilities at Deir ez-Zor, which provides about two-thirds of the oil revenue for Da’esh, Warren said.

But the goal is not really to destroy the structures anyway.

According to Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aim is to prevent Da’esh from producing and shipping oil while keeping the infrastructure relatively intact so it can be restored once the war in Syria is over, USA Today reported.

The black gold once provided billions of dollars to the Syrian government, which charged fees to companies from Russia, Britain, China, and the Netherlands. Syria also owned and operated its own oil wells as well, most of which were located in Deir ez-Zor, in the eastern part of the country.

That region is now controlled by Da’esh, which the Treasury estimated sells discounted oil on the black market for half a billion dollars a year. At least half of the terror group’s revenue is raised from the sale of oil, according to the Pentagon. Da’esh also controls oil-producing regions in Iraq.

On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry held a briefing in Moscow to present maps, photographs and other materials as evidence to support accusations by President Vladimir Putin that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family are importing black market oil from ISIS-controlled territories in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan denied the allegations, aimed at him during a conversation with reporters on the sidelines of the COP-21 climate change conference in Paris. The Turkish president vowed to resign if Putin could prove his claims were true.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Presents ‘Evidence’ of Alleged ISIS Oil Imports to Turkey

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Russian officials presented materials on Wednesday that they said proved Turkey’s leadership is “involved in illegal oil trade with ISIS.”

The Russian Defense Ministry presented materials in a Moscow briefing on Wednesday that officials said proved Turkey has been importing oil from the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of shooting down one of Russia’s warplanes to protect the transfer of black market Syrian oil from ISIS through Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would resign if Putin could prove the allegation.

At the briefing in Moscow, Russian Defense Ministry officials charged Turkey’s leadership, including Erdogan and his family, with being “involved in illegal oil trade with [ISIS]… Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq,” said Deputy Defense Ministery Anatoly Antonov.

Russian Defense Ministry map showing alleged oil truck routes to Turkey from ISIS oil wells in Syria.

Russian Defense Ministry map showing alleged oil truck routes to Turkey from ISIS oil wells in Syria.

“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said. He added that the oil “in large quantities” enters Turkish territory in “live oil pipelines” via thousands of oil trucks.

“According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – is involved in this criminal business,” he added.

Lt.-Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, also at the briefing, said that Russian air strikes that began on September 30 had significantly reduced the oil income of the terror organization.

“The income [of Da’esh] was about $3 million per day,” he said. “After two months of Russian air strikes their income was about $1.5 million a day.”

The officials presented photos of oil trucks, videos of air strikes on ISIS oil storage facilities and maps showing the routes of oil deliveries and promised more evidence to be posted on the ministry’s website in the coming days.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan to Quit If Putin Proves Claim Turkey Imports Oil From ISIS

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed back at claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ankara buys its oil from Da’esh (ISIS).

The exchange took place on the sidelines of the COP 21 global conference on climate change taking place in Paris.

“We have received additional data which unfortunately confirm that this oil, produced in areas controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey,” Putin said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkey-based newspaper.

“We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers,” Russia’s TASS news agency also quoted Putin as saying during a news conference on the sidelines of the climate talks.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, Erdogan denied the claims, saying Turkey obtained all its oil and gas imports “through the legal path… We are not dishonest so as to do this kind of exchange with terrorist groups. Everyone needs to know this,” he said. “If evidence of this kind is found, let those who find it present it,” he added, according to TASS.

Erdogan labeled the accusations “slander” and vowed to resign if the claims were in fact proved.

“I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proved, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office,” he was quoted by the state-run Andolu news agency as saying. “I am asking Mr. Putin, would you stay in that office? I say this clearly.”

Nevertheless, Erdogan clearly was also mindful that his nation cannot afford to alienate mighty Russia, and appeared to be working hard to avoid it. In his remarks he described Moscow as a “strategic partner,” adding, “Even if it is just a piece of string remaining … we don’t want ties to be cut. How Russia will proceed, I cannot know.”

Ultimately, however, Erdogan said that continued Russian sanctions against his country would be met with those of Turkey – but not yet.

“Let’s act patiently and not emotionally,” he told reporters. “Let’s let their chips fall as they may, then if we have our own chips, we’ll let those fall.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-vows-to-resign-if-putin-can-prove-claim-turkey-imports-oil-from-isis/2015/12/01/

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