Israel’s two largest natural gas fields, Tamar and Leviathan, have been found to contain valuable gas condensate, liquid hydrocarbons which are obtained during gas production and used to produce refined oil products for the fuel industry, Globes reported. The fields include an estimated 35 million barrels of condensate, believed to be worth roughly $3 billion.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the University of Michigan have signed a $2 million partnership agreement to work together in the development of renewable energy technologies, The Jerusalem Post reported. The universities signed a memorandum of understanding that committed each side to spending $1 million over three years in a collaborative research program. The project was initiated by Michigan’s vice president for research, Stephen Forrest, who has traveled to Israel frequently over the past five years and was impressed by the country’s innovation and technological expertise.
The United States, Israel, and Greece participated in a two-week joint naval exercise known as “Noble Dina,” which aimed to practice defending offshore gas rigs, a new strategic imperative for the Israeli Navy, Agence France Presse reported. The relationship between Greece and Israel has warmed in recent years and the United States has sought to capitalize on an opportunity to work trilaterally with two important Mediterranean allies. This year marks the third such joint exercise, which the Israeli military said in a statement was “an opportunity for mutual learning and for strengthening cooperation with its allies.”
In an important step towards Israel’s energy security, gas from its Tamar field started flowing into the country on March 30, The New York Times reported. The gas flows from Israel’s northern Mediterranean coast to an onshore reception station in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod. Over the next 10 years, Tamar is expected to supply Israel with 50 to 80 percent of its natural gas needs.
The diplomatic resolution between Israel and Turkey over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident has raised the possibility of boosting cooperation between the two nations in arenas beyond the political, The Wall Street Journal reported. For months, the parties have quietly explored the prospect of energy cooperation, specifically the possibility of a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey. Progress, however, was believed impossible until the political disagreement was resolved. Turkey is a growing energy consumer and could serve as a potential transit point to European markets as well, and a pipeline could prove a low-cost export option for Israeli gas. Turkey is today largely dependent on Russia for natural gas and is looking to diversify its supply as its needs rise.