Gas Grab
July 20, 2014 4:38 PM   Subscribe

The Leviathan Natural Gas field is the worlds largest natural Gas find in the last 10 years and could be worth US$30 billion.
However there are a few unresolved political problems.
Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel's increasing domestic energy woes.
Policy Brief (Pdf) Natural Gas in the Palestinian Authority: The Potential of the Gaza Marine Offshore Field.
posted by adamvasco (9 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry for the late delete, but a couple of problems here: unclear/misleading framing (Israel is not invading to get control of Leviathan); one major link is to a conspiracy site (anti-vax, truther, etc.); not sure we need another I/P thread when we have an active one currently going, and we are not inclined or equipped to have several contentious I/P threads happening at once. -- taz

Maybe this is my Canada showing, but a $30B gas field hardly seems worth getting worked up about.

That's only a third of Israel's current GDP. Spread over the lifespan of a gas field, it's hardly anything.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:56 PM on July 20, 2014

By a third, I meant a tenth, obviously. A third would be kinda a lot.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:09 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

[Couple of comments deleted. If this thread is going to exist, it needs to not instantly turn into a fight over I/P.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:20 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

For the record, there used to be an old joke about Israel being the only country in the Middle East with no hydrocarbon resources ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:56 PM on July 20, 2014

Another sensitive energy issue for the area: Golan Heights oil exploration.
posted by fredludd at 6:02 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

That's only a [tenth] of Israel's current GDP. Spread over the lifespan of a gas field, it's hardly anything.

To take a familiar example, that'd be somewhere around the fraction of GDP that the USA spent on their latest Iraq war. Relative to the size of the economy of Palestine, it would be larger. Spread over the lifespan of a gas field, it could more than double the GDP of Gaza.
posted by sfenders at 6:03 PM on July 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

Ideally, they could share the proceeds between the historically aggrieved denizens of that area.
posted by Renoroc at 6:12 PM on July 20, 2014

Appropriate name, Leviathan....I am remind of the Book of Job:

"Shall thy companions make a banquet of him? Shall they part him among merchants?"
"His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes out of his mouth;"
"When Leviathan raises up, the mighty are afraid; by reasons of breaking they purify themselves
The sword of him that layeth at Leviathan cannot hold; the spear, the dart, nor the halberd;
Leviathan esteemeth iron like straw, and brass as rotten wood.
"He beholdeth all high things; he is king over all the children of pride"

I'm not superstitious, but if I were, I'd consider this to be an ominous event, indeed.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 6:52 PM on July 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is an interesting topic, but the FPP is off on the details in important ways. It makes it seem like there is a claim from some other party on Leviathan: there isn't.

The geopolitical concerns article is a reprint (from something called NSBC?) speculating that Israel was invading Gaza in 2009 to seize Gaza's gas fields. Gaza does have undeveloped offshore gas fields, but these have nothing to do with Leviathan (22 trillion cubic feet) or the Tamar gas fields (6.1 trillion cubic feet), which are completely within Israeli territory, as you can see from National Geographic. The only conflict was with Lebanon, which gave up its claim.

Gaza's gas field (Gaza Marine, with a much smaller 1.5 trillion cubic feet) were not seized by Israel in 2009, as is clear, and as Al Jazeera covered in 2012, there was an effort to develop the gas field complicated by the fact that Israel would not deal with Hamas. Under the agreement, the PA would receive all taxes from the field. Israel has repeatedly blocked deals in the past, and this effort collapsed as well. However, it seems unlikely that seizing Gaza Marine is a critical goal here. There has been hope that, when Israel and Palestine finally come to peace, that these reserves will play a key role in the Palestinian economy, as your last PDF indicates.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:33 PM on July 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

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