Israel loots Gaza’s natural reserves

Uploaded on 15 Jun 2011
Gaza’s energy authorities say Israel is planning to steal Gaza’s natural resources.

This comes after Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure authorized earlier this week Noble Energy, a crude oil and gas exploration giant, to begin developing a natural gas field off the Gaza Strip coastline.

Israel says the decision to grant the approval was made in light of what it described as a severe shortage of natural gas supplies.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2.

Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion U.S dollars.

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine. UN resolution 3005 affirmed the principle of sovereignty of the population of occupied territories over their natural wealth and resources.

Crude oil and natural gas sit in pockets in the onshore region of occupied Palestine. One of the wellheads that has been producing crude oil for Tel-Aviv for some years sits off the Northeast tip of the Gaza Strip and was once Palestinian Territory.

Analysts blame the international community for failing to protect the rights of Palestinians.

Since the beginning of the blockade, British Gas has been dealing with Israel. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

Israel has received the bulk of its natural gas supplies from Egypt in the past two decades but the supply was interrupted following the anti-government protests and the ouster of former Egyptian president Husni Mubarak. Now experts say Israel may plan to tap into Gaza’s Natural Gas reserves to meet its needs.


2 gedachtes over “Israel loots Gaza’s natural reserves


    Published on 26 Jul 2014
    With strong indications of extensive gas and oil reserves in Palestinian lands and waters, the British Gas Group (BG) and the Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) were ‘granted’ gas exploration rights in Gaza’s offshore, in a 25-year agreement signed in 1999 with the Palestinian Authority (PA)..
    In 2000, as drilling operations began, BG and CCC found gas fields in the Gazan off-shores, including Gaza Marine 1 and the Gaza border field (Gaza Marine 2)..
    Under the agreement, BG and CCC were granted gas exploration rights and exclusive rights for marketing in the event that reserves were discovered. The two companies were granted a total 90% ownership of any reserves (60% and 30% respectively for BG and CCC), with only 10% for the Palestinian side..
    Gaza Marine 1 is entirely located in the Palestinian territorial waters facing the city of Gaza, with reserves estimated at 28 billion cubic meters..
    The Gaza border field is located within the maritime border area between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The border field’s well reserves are estimated to be on the order of 3 billion cubic meters. Gaza’s gas reserves are estimated at 31 billion cubic meters..
    When gas reserves were discovered in 2000, late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat held a special ceremony for the occasion, which gave Palestinians hope that their homeland would thrive and join other Gulf countries as a major gas exporter..
    Yet Palestine over the past 14 years has been unable to exploit its own gas due to the political and economic impediments with Israel, and due to internal division and the absence of legislative control. Israel has managed to be the sole purchaser of the 10% allocated Palestinian gas, setting its own conditions to any sale agreement..
    Palestinian President Yasser Arafat insisted on transporting gas to Gaza first and then pumping it through ground pipelines to Israel, in a move intended to stress Palestinian sovereignty over their own resources..
    Negotiations over gas deals beginning in 2001 broke down in 2007 due to differences on where the pipeline would come on shore, the complications of increasing violent events, and the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007..
    These all contributed to circumstances whereby, in 2007, BG Group withdrew from negotiations with the government of Israel for the sale of gas from the Gaza Marine field and in 2008, BG Group closed its office in Israel, yet remained in contact with both the PA and Israel..
    Israeli defence minister and former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast..
    Ya’alon dismissed the notion that “Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state” as “misguided”..
    Operation Cast Lead began in December 2008, at the exact same time that Israel contacted BG to discuss critical negotiations around Gaza’s natural gas..
    As these negotiations continued, 1,417 Palestinians were killed, displacing over 50,000 Gazans and destroying over 4,000 homes through air strikes and a deadly ground invasion with the declared purpose of securing areas within the Gaza strip that rockets were fired from..
    Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians (773 of whom were civilians) and 9 Israelis (3 of whom were civilians)..
    Israel has made it’s own successive major discoveries in recent years, such as the Leviathan field estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas..
    Huge obstacle’s to that extraction are that much of the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.6 billion barrels of oil in the Levant Basin Province lies in territorial waters 81 kilometers off the coast where borders are hotly disputed between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus..
    Despite these findings Israel, which is said to be dependant on Egyptian gas for some 40 percent of its electricity needs was cut off by Egypt in April 2012..
    The month before in January 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu described the offshore gas fields in the Levant Basin as a “strategic objective that Israel’s enemies will try to undermine” and vowed that “Israel will defend its resources”…

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