Gas Fields – Incentives to Form Relations with Neighboring Countries

Two panels at the Hadera EnergyTech Conference revolved around gas fields as an incentive to improve the geo-political situation in the region and around the issues of gas taxation in Israel

The discovery of gas fields is a tremendous incentive for the economic development of Israeli industries, for development of transportation and for the reduction of air pollution. It is also an incentive to create an infrastructure of improved and innovative international contacts and relationships with neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. This is the main conclusion of two panels of energy experts, who participated in the Hadera EnergyTech Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv.

All the speakers expressed their hope that the Israeli government and all relevant parties will rush to develop the Leviathan gas field, as well as other, new fields. Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said, "the use of gas is a revolution in public health due to reduction of air pollution. Gas is a key factor in positioning the geopolitical status of Israel ".

Gil Dankner, Chairman of Dor Chemicals, said, "The transportation industry in Israel needs gas. For 100 years it has been running on oil. Now it is time for a revolution, since transportation is a big source of pollution. Natural gas is a good basis for an alternative transportation, with its low prices and better quality.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Zigdon, CEO of the City of Hadera, said that his city is "going to be the energy city of Israel. In addition to our gas pipelines and desalination plant, we are building a power plant and an energy park. We are also constructing a campus that will focus on energy studies, from kindergarten to high school."

Yigal Landau, CEO of Ratio Oil, referred to the tax to be imposed on gas in Israel, saying that "the tax will triple the cost of gas to Israel. In the Israeli sea, there are gas fields that have not yet been drilled. Because of the restrictions on gas export, the Israeli market must be developed, the use of gas must be encouraged, and the ecological advantages must be emphasized."

George Papadopoulos, an expert in the field, said, "We want to see Israeli partnerships with European countries, especially from the Mediterranean, such as Greece, Cyprus and Turkey".

Michael Barron, advisor to the Egyptian Dolfinus Company, addressed the situation between the two countries and said, "To the question whether Egypt will buy gas from Israel, my answer is yes, but of course Israel must give competitive prices. Do energy pipelines bring political peace? The answer, again, is yes. The two countries must cooperate and work together."

Doug Thomas from Cyprus added, "Certainly, energy pipelines can bring peace. When you place a pipe it is left there forever and you must use it to provide energy to your customers."

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