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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘oil’

New Israeli Oil Find near Gaza Could Drive Hamas, Abbas into War

Monday, September 9th, 2013

A new oil discovery in southern Israel might turn out to be the catalyst for an internal and self-destructive war in the Palestinian Authority, with Hamas in Gaza and chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah likely to claim ownership of a new Israeli offshore oil discovery near Ashdod.

When the Tamar and Leviathan gas and oil fields off the Haifa and Hadera coast, in northern Israel, were discovered, Lebanon and Hezbollah quickly claimed that energy reserves were in their territorial waters.

The oil and gas reserves are clearly within Israel’s territorial waters, but the fields could extend as far as the waters off the Lebanese coast.

Lebanon warned the American Noble Energy company not to approach its territory, and Hezbollah it would go to war over the oil and gas fields. Since then, Israel has brought gas into production, and Lebanon and Hezbollah have kept quiet, partly because the United States has mediated by proposing a boundary between Lebanon and Israel’s maritime economic zones.

Now comes the Israeli Shemen Oil and Gas Company which reported on Saturday indications of  “high quality of oil”  following offfshore drilling at its Yam-3 well, 10 miles from the southern port city of Ashdod, located only a few miles north of Gaza.

The drilling reached a depth of 19,000 feet undersea, but the possibility of commercial production awaits further tests.

“This is good news for Shemen but it is still too early to pop the champagne,” Noam Pincu, an analyst at Psagot Investment House Ltd. in Tel Aviv, told Bloomberg News. “We have to see the results of the production tests to estimate the quantities and quality of oil at the site.”

It still is not clear from the drilling report how thick the reservoir is and how much much oil could be commercially produced. Analysts said it could be only a few barrels a day or it could be several hundred a day, which would bring in millions of dollars.

If the Yam 3 well turns to be commercially viable, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu might be able to relax at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talks and let Fatah and Hamas knock each other out.

Hamas and its rival Fatah movement likely would be at each other’s throats, literally, to claim that Israel is “stealing” the reserves from them.

Abbas was head of all of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza until Hamas completed a bloody military coup six years ago. Abbas dissolved the Fatah-Hams coalition government and declared himself as ruler of Gaza by presidential decree, which Hamas correctly terms as “worthless.”

Abbas and Hamas de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh have since failed to carry out several declarations of unity.

All it will take is a few barrels of oil near Gaza’s waters for both leaders to draw their knives and guns for energy reserves that are so close to Gaza that Haniyeh and Abbas can claim that Israel is “stealing” them by drilling diagonally into Gaza waters.

Both Ramallah and Gaza City are in serious trouble financially. Egypt’s new war on terror in the Sinai has choked off the flow of commercial goods through the border at Rafiah, and Abbas is totally dependent on the economically ailing European Union, to stave off bankruptcy.

Egypt Foils Attack on Suez Canal, Price of Crude Oil Soars

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Egypt foiled a terrorist attack on a ship in the Suez Canal on Saturday and has increased security to protect ships and oil tankers. Authorities did not reveal details of the attempted attack except to say it was flying under the Panama flag and was a container vessel.

“The attempt failed completely and there was no damage to the ship or the containers it carried. The situation was dealt with strictly by the armed forces,” said Suez Canal Authority director Mohab Memish

The expectation of an American attack on Syria  drove up the price of crude oil last week to $112 a barrel, the highest in five years, before it settled back to a nearly three-year high of $108.

More Gas Found Offshore of Israel

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Additional natural gas, and possibly light oil have been found at the Yam 3 drill site, 16 kilometers off the coast of Ashdod, according to a report in Globes.

It’s not yet clear how much gas and oil has been found.

Kerry’s New ‘Peace’ Brainstorm: Talk with Abbas without Israel

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left Washington Monday with a new a brainstorm of meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan to advance the dead and buried “peace process” while leaving Israel off the itinerary.

Kerry also will meet with officials of the Arab League, which has backed the 2002 Saudi Arabia plan to “normalize” relations with Israel as soon as the country simply transfers 600,000 Jews from their homes and turns over hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure over to the Palestinian Authority, along with all of land in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem.

His itinerary leaves it out in the open that the real powers-to-be are the Arab League countries, the ones with the oil. “We all are familiar with the importance of the Arab peace initiative,” State Dept. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. “And the representatives of the Arab League, they’ve asked for an update or they discussed that with him [Kerry] in April. So he’s providing that for all of them on Wednesday.”

The Arab League wants an “update,” meaning what is Netanyahu prepared to give up this time around?

Psaki could not provide any reason for Kerry’s not planning to go to  Israel and to meet Abbas in Jordan, and not Ramallah.

“We have no plans to visit Israel. If there are additional meetings – I expect we’ll know later this afternoon,” Psaki added.

This whole trip sounds freaky. Kerry it not planning to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and does not even know which Arab League officials will receive him, according  to the spokeswoman. But she added,  “We’re still finalizing the meetings.”

“The Secretary would not be going back to the region if he did not feel there was an opportunity to keep making steps forward and providing an update to representatives of the Arab League as part of that.,” Psaki said Monday.

Kerry apparently has lots of ideas that something dramatic will occur,  which is exactly is what everyone was led to believe last month when he tossed his schedule into the trash can and remained in the region for an extra day.

So what happened? Nothing.

Kerry left a day later than planned with no press conference, no joint statements, no nothing except to say that “real progress” had been made and said that a resumption of talks “could be within reach.”

The Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot newspaper last month reported that Kerry had threatened Abbas to soften off or face receiving zero dollars from the United States in the future.

Kerry is not bothering with Netanyahu now.  Abbas has set pre-conditions before resuming direct talks, which he calls “negotiations,” meaning “give me what I want or I will take it myself.” Kerry wants to break  Abbas, and if he succeeds, then the monkey is on Netanyahu’s back.

It is an old story that goes like this: Abbas insist all or nothing, Then he “compromises” and insists on only a part of his demands, leaving the rest of them for the next round.

Israel then is faced with a phony “Great Compromise” and obviously is not interested in peace if it does not accept such a grandiose gesture.

If Kerry does not succeed, he will probably be back for a seventh time, leaving less important matters such as Syria and Egypt to underlings.

Terror on the Roads: Arabs Oil Up

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

For the second time in just over a week, Arabs have poured oil on the main road connecting Highway 60 to Beitar (near Efrat), in the middle of the night.

A little over a week ago, Arabs poured oil on the same road causing a car to spin out of control and crash.

The fire department was sent to clean up the oil.

On Friday, Efrat residents protested the lack of security on that and other roads in Gush Etzion.

More Natural Gas Found

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

On Wednesday evening, the Delek Group announced that they believe they’ve found an additional 57 billion cubic meters (2 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas at the Karish (“Shark”) 1 well. Updated estimates, on Thursday morning, are now saying there is possibly 80-100 billion cubic meters.

The drilling began in mid-March, and was expected to go on for 3 months.

The Karish well is 75 kilometers north west of Haifa. The waters depth is 1,740 meters, and they will be drilling down 4,900 meters.

This well is being drilled by Noble Energy (47.1%), Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Drilling (26.4%) and Avner Oil and Gas (26.4%).

The issue of what to do with the gas is a controversial subject in Israel, with some sides saying it should be exported, while other saying it should all be kept for domestic use.

Government profits from the gas are going to be put into a special fund, but JewishPress.com has been calling for Israel to follow the Alaska model introduced by Sarah Palin, where State income and sales tax have been cancelled, and citizens of Alaska personally receive checks from the oil revenue royalties and taxes.

Palin introduced the concept that the natural resources of the state belong to the citizens of Alaska, and they should profit from it directly.

Warren Buffet Buys Out Israeli Firm for $2 Billion

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is paying $2.05 billion for the remaining 20 percent of IMC International Metalworking Co, otherwise known as Isracar, completing the buyout that began with the giant $4 billion purchase of 80 percent of the company in 2006.

“We are delighted to acquire the portion of the company that was retained by the Wertheimer family when IMC first became a member of the Berkshire group of companies,” Buffett said Wednesday in a statement.

“As you can surmise from the price we’re paying for the remaining interest, IMC has enjoyed very significant growth over the last seven years,” Buffett, 82, said.

Isracar employs more than 2,000 people in Israel and 7,500 others around the world.

Buffett has literally fallen in love with Israel. The 2006 purchase of most of Isracar was Buffett’s largest-ever investment outside of the United States.

When he visited Israel prior to the spectacular purchase of the precision carbide cutting tools company, he said, “If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel. If you’re looking for brains, look no further. Israel has shown that it has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy.”

Since then, an American-Israeli consortium drilling off the Haifa coast has made the world’s largest discovery of natural gas in the past 20 years, with a strong possibility of commercial quantities of oil.

Buffet’s purchase of the rest of Isracar on Wednesday helped strengthen the shekel against the dollar, with the going rate for a greenback now less than 3.58 shekels.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/warren-buffet-buys-out-israeli-firm-for-2-billion/2013/05/01/

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