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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘pipeline’

Israeli Firm Plans Gas Pipelines to Turkey, other Mideast Nations

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

An Israeli energy company has announced plans to export natural gas via pipelines through Turkey and other countries in the Middle East.

The Delek Group, the parent firm for several energy and gas exploration companies, said in its new prospectus that it plans to export some of the newly discovered natural gas off the Mediterranean cost to Europe via pipelines to Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Delek Group is in advanced talks with companies in those countries about buying Israeli gas and building pipelines. The group also has talked about building a liquefied natural gas facility in Israel.

The Israeli Cabinet in June approved a decision to export about 40 percent of the recently discovered reserves while keeping a 25-year supply for the country’s consumption. Revenue from the exported gas is expected to be about $60 billion.

Canada, Keystone and the Palestinians

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

As Obama wrapped up his Middle East tour, applauded by AIPAC for reaffirming “unbreakable bonds” and “deep affection” between two key allies; and by Al Jazeera for “normalizing” Israel-Turkey ties, Obama’s neighbors to the north are left scratching their heads about what he meant by his off-the-cuff statement that compared Israeli-Palestinian relations to Canada-U.S. relations.

After acknowledging in his speech the horror of an Israeli sleeping in his bed and having a rocket come through the roof, Obama went on to say: “Even though both sides have areas of strong disagreement, maybe engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things…. There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish State of Israel and those two states will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. The United States and Canada have arguments once in a while.”

The outlandish comparison – as Canadians do not lob rockets and missiles into Rochester or Detroit or claim the U.S. as “Occupied Canada” — could have been an Obama gaffe to add to an open-mic one he made during his welcome ceremony after he landed in Israel and declared that this trip allowed him to “get away from Congress.” Obama has become quite noted for minor and major gaffes, such as when he insulted Netanyahu and conspired with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Both incidents raised questions about his character, his policies and potentially hidden agendas.

Although one could not decipher any meaning behind Obama’s odd comparison of American-Canadian relations with Israeli-Palestinian relations, one can note some important “arguments” the U.S. now faces with Canada: primarily the Keystone XL pipeline project, designed to carry oil from Canada to Texas oil refineries.

To address further these “once in a while arguments,” a Forbes article illustrated how — with policies similar to what are being promoted by Republicans — Canada is outperforming the U.S. economically on every level. Entitled “What President Obama Doesn’t Want You To Know About Canada”, it cited senior sources in the Canadian government who met with Obama administration officials and said their impression was that the White House is jealous of the Canadian government’s power to have its way. Even the notoriously liberal Canadian Broadcaster CBC featured in its community blog: “Republicans threaten move to Canada after Obama win”.

The Obama administration’s energy policy is starkly divergent from the Harper government’s. Canada obtains oil from places such as the Athabasca oil sands region in northeastern Alberta, while the Obama administration has reduced drilling permits on public lands and has stalled the go-ahead of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. The Keystone pipeline not only provides an ethical alternative to importing oil from regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela; it is also an “essential part of the North American energy marketplace” and of U.S.-Canada relations, according to former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prentice , who is now a senior executive with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

When Obama rejected Keystone in early 2012, he pinned the blame for the decision on Republicans, accusing them for trying to push the administration to an earlier deadline. But Obama’s dilemma about the Keystone project reveals underlying issues that could have long-term implications for Obama’s credibility in his ongoing commitment to promote an agenda affecting “climate change,” as well as to his liberal economic policies.

For example, during a speech on China and India as emerging economies, Obama’s assistant on economic policy, Lawrence Summers, raised the idea that India’s political-economic model, which he referred to as the “Mumbai Consensus,” may in the end win the day. According to Summers the Mumbai Consensus is “not based on ideas of laissez-faire capitalism that have proven obsolete or ideas of authoritarian capitalism that ultimately will prove not to be enduringly successful….” Recall that George Bush was the whipping boy for laissez-faire capitalism in certain camps after the Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae fiasco that led to the 2008 economic meltdown, even though it is no secret that the Democrats bore guilt.

With respect to Obama’s credibility, right after taking office, in having vowed to promote policies that would supposedly moderate climate change, Obama committed the U.S. to the foreground of global climate change initiatives — the centerpiece of which would entail revamping the flawed Kyoto protocol to bring include equitable commitments from countries such as China and India, which, despite being the most objectionable polluters, had been given free passes under the Kyoto accords. Now, years later and into his second term, Obama faces stumbling blocks in making good on his promises, not the least of which involves the Keystone pipeline.

Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Explodes

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

An oil pipeline that ran between Kirkuk, Iraq and Turkey exploded on Saturday evening. The pipeline has been shut down.

Oil Pipeline Threatens Ancient Babylon and World Cultural Heritage

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/oil-pipeline-threatens-ancient-babylon-and-world-cultural-heritage/

An Iraqi Oil Ministry plan to extend an oil pipeline through ancient Babylon presents a major threat to the cultural heritage of one of the ancient world’s most important cities.

Babylon, the world’s largest city during portions of the second and first millennia B.C.E., features prominently in Biblical narratives and played a major role in the cultural development of the ancient Near East. The site has been harangued by constant threats in recent decades, including the construction of a palace for Saddam Hussein, the digging and leveling of terrain near the Ishtar Gate for the construction of a US military base and the extension of earlier pipelines in the 1970s and 80s.

Iraq has fought hard to preserve the cultural heritage of Babylon by trying to add it to the UNESCO World Heritage list, but the frequent damages have threatened the bid. The location of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Babylon was partially excavated in several stages during the 20th century, but given its massive size and millennia-long occupation, further archaeological investigation is necessary.

The General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq has filed a lawsuit against the Oil Projects Committee in an attempt to prevent the construction of the pipeline, which would pass through the wall of the 1,400 year old castle known as the Babil Fortress.

Panetta Announces $70 Million for Iron Dome

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Obama administration said it would rush $70 million to Israel in order to enhance its Iron Dome missile defense system, with more money in the pipeline.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday, after meeting with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, that he was directed by President Obama to meet Israel’s needs for the system as indicated by Barak.

“My goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs each year to produce these batteries that can protect its citizens,” Panetta said. “That is why, going forward over the next three years, we intend to request additional funding for Iron Dome based on an annual assessment of Israeli security requirements against an evolving threat.”

Legislation under consideration in Congress, shaped in consultation with administration officials, would deliver $680 million to Israel for the system, which earlier this year successfully intercepted rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The system was funded in part by $205 million transferred by the United States to Israel in 2011.

Barak, in a statement, said he “greatly appreciated” the announcement, adding that “This additional funding for the Iron Dome system comes at a crucial time for the Israeli people.”

Barak is in Washington to discuss with Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton efforts to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee also praised the Obama administration for its announcement.

“This funding will enable the Jewish state to better protect its citizens, thus preventing a wider conflict,” AIPAC said in a statement. “Missile defense programs are a cornerstone of U.S.-Israel cooperative programs. The two allies work together to develop innovative technologies that advance the security of both nations.”

Egyptian-Israeli Tensions Rise

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is facing the grim prospect of witnessing the 33-year-old Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement unravel as the rise of radical Islamic political parties in Cairo and unchecked Bedouin terrorist activities across the Sinai Peninsula – which have included sabotaging a gas pipeline to Israel – threaten to create a new political and military crisis between the two countries and throughout the Middle East.

Netanyahu attempted to put on a brave face to the media earlier this week after yet another in a series of gas-supply cutoffs from the Sinai pipeline to Israel. He said, “We don’t see the cutoff of gas as something that arose from political developments, but rather a business dispute between the Israeli and Egyptian partners in the gas company.”

For its part, Egyptian television showed a rising Islamic politician boasting to raucous supporters that both the bombing of the pipeline and the cutoff of gas supplies to Israel will eventually be permanent, and should be considered a “blessed event.”

Though Netanyahu has said the new Noble/Delek Energy offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas platforms will transform Israel into an exporter of surplus gas to overseas markets within two years, Israel’s Defense and National Infrastructures ministries are dealing with a series of immediate challenges due to tensions with Egypt.

Several Israeli power stations that relied on Egyptian gas supplies have been forced to import large amounts of environmentally unfriendly coal and diesel fuel in order to keep their stations functioning at normal capacity. And Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau is on the verge of importing large mobile turbines to supplement IEC’s power capabilities during peak summer days. His goal is to avoid potentially costly blackouts.

Egypt Halts Gas Supply to Israel, Concerns Over Future of Treaty Arise

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Despite major concerns being raised about the future of peace between Egypt and Israel in the wake of Egypt’s decision to terminate the a contract to provide natural gas to the Jewish State, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he hopes the dispute will be solved in a business environment, and that relations between the two countries will return to normal.

“We want to believe this is a commercial dispute, and not a political one,” Lieberman told Army Radio on Monday.  “The peace agreement is important to Israel, and no less so to Egypt.”

On Sunday, Egypt announced that it would no longer provide natural gas to Israel, a $2.5 billion, 15 year arrangement made between Israel and then-president Hosni Mubarak in June 2005, but predated and bolstered by the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, which stipulates that the countries will trade normally for products such as oil.

Egyptian officials say the decision to stop supplying gas to Israel was a commercial one and that Israel has not paid for gas Egypt has been sending.  Israeli officials say Israel was up to date in payments, and paying a fair price for the product.  “EMG (East Mediterranean Gas) considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith,” said Ampal-American Israel Corp., which owns 12.5 percent of East Mediterranean Gas .

The provision of gas by Egypt to Israel has been mired in controversy and difficulties, with Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic party representatives decrying the agreement, and the pipeline between the countries being bombed 14 times in Sinai since the Arab Spring took hold of Egypt in January 2011.  The latest attack was on April 8. Ampal has been in international arbitration to get compensation for the supply shortages it has suffered due to the attacks.

Though Israel has continued to function normally despite the frequent gas disruptions and the current halt in supply, electricity prices have risen significantly since the pipeline attacks began, and the possibility of periodic blackouts during the summer has risen.  Prior to the attacks, 40% of Israeli electricity needs were being met by Egyptian gas.

The failure of the natural gas deal was viewed ominously by Israeli leaders on Sunday night, with the Finance Ministry calling Egypt’s actions “a dangerous precedent that casts clouds over the peace agreements and the atmosphere of peace between Egypt and Israel.”

Minister of Energy and Water Dr. Uzi Landau said that he instructed officials already two years ago to prepare for a halt in gas imports from Egypt.

Dr. Landau has spent the last few years in office preparing the country for energy independence, which is proving an even more vital strategy due to yesterday’s announcement in Egypt.

Egyptian Cancellation of Gas Supply Threatens Treaty with Israel

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Egypt’s sudden cancellation of its natural gas treaty with Israel is a flagrant violation of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, according to Israeli officials.

Egypt claims that Israel is in “violation of contractual agreements” of the 2005 Egypt-Israel gas deal, a pact decried by leaders of the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt.

Since the beginning of the uprising on January 25, 2011, the pipelines supplying gas to Israel have been sabotaged 14 times.

Israel called the Egyptian decision “unlawful and in bad faith”, and a failure to meet obligations. Egypt, said Israel is four months in arrears on payment, a charge Israel denies.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-cancellation-of-gas-supply-threatens-treaty-with-israel/2012/04/23/

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