The moment everyone has been waiting for has arrived: After more than four years of drilling and pipe laying, the flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field, located some 90 km (roughly 56 miles) west of Haifa, has begun.
The gas is travelling in pipes hundreds of kilometers south into the Yam Tatis gas field and from there will continue to an intake center in Ashdod, where it is expected to arrive in about 30 hours.
This marks a major turning point both for Israel's economy and society and will provide the state with energy independence at least until 2035.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "This is an important day for Israel's economy. On the holiday of freedom we are making an important step towards independence in the field of energy."
He further added, "In the past decade we have pushed the gas industry forward and this will benefit Israel's economy as well as Israel's citizens."
Upon its arrival to Israel, the gas will support the generation of electricity at power stations - owned both by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and private companies, as well as smaller factories - gradually allowing for prices to drop as Israel's electricity shifts from expensive, polluting and import-dependant materials, such as diesel and fuel oil, to its own natural gas.
The transition will also increase Israel's competitive edge in comparison to foreign industries and increase state revenue as royalties for the gas begin to roll in.
It is currently estimated that there are 270 billion cubic meters of natural gas at the Tamar field.
Energy and Water Minister, Silvan Shalom, said in response: "This is Israel's energy independence day. It is truly a historic event – Israel has received energetic freedom, and gas from Tamar will lead to a drastic decrease in the IEC's production costs, hence a future reduction in electricity costs for the average Israeli consumer."
Yitzhak Tshuva, the owner of Delek Group, which owns Delek Drilling, said: "Today should inspire pride. A vision has become reality. Today, once again, we leave enslavement towards freedom: From dependence on foreign energy sources to independence in locally-made natural gas.
"This is a momentous achievement for Israeli economy," Tsuva continued, saying a "new era| has begun, which "will change the face of the Israeli market" and "open new opportunities for Israel's economy, allowing it to take advantage of the natural gas in the environmental, geo-political, social and economical spheres, turning Israel into an important international player."
Charles D. Davidson, chairman and CEO of Noble Energy said: “I congratulate the people of Israel on this transformational achievement, which significantly moves them toward energy independence and away from reliance on imports. Utilizing natural gas from Tamar will provide cleaner air, save the state billions of shekels in energy costs and be an engine for economic growth."
Sunday, March 31, 2013
- Sunday, March 31, 2013
- Elder of Ziyon