Energy Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean: Source for Cooperation or Fuel for Tension? The Case of Israel
Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has been heavily dependent on foreign supplies of energy, but this is soon to change. The offshore Tamar natural gas field, coming on-stream in 2013, will satisfy current domestic demand for gas as well as projected expanded use. The offshore Leviathan field has the potential to make Israel a significant energy exporter after production begins in 2017. A major dilemma facing Israeli decision-makers is the choice of how to export surplus gas. Although this will not happen until at least 2017, decisions have to be made much sooner. The possibilities come down to exporting it after converting it into LNG, sending via pipeline, or using it to generate electricity, which is then exported by undersea cable. All options have political challenges, as described here.