Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oil, Gas, and Palestinian Peace

OilandGasInvesting | In the late 1990s, the Palestinian government was able to secure an agreement with British Gas that allowed them to begin drilling for natural gas and oil in the Mediterranean Sea. After years of drilling and exploration, Palestine was rewarded with an oil reserve 22 miles off of the coast of the Gaza Strip. The entire country was excited by this natural mineral that would hopefully provide them with the economic freedom and financial stability they desired. Unfortunately, the financial success did not come directly on the heels of their discovery.

International instability and internal political strife has made it extremely difficult for Palestinian officials to utilize their newfound resource. In 2005 Israel delivered a major blow to the Palestinians fledgling oil industry by choosing to import natural gas from Egypt. By doing this, Israel completely bypassed its neighbor in favor of making a political statement.

This deal completely destroyed Palestine’s early plans to establish a flourishing gas industry in Gaza that would create many much needed jobs and earn the Palestinian government millions in taxes. The millions the government planned to receive were based on the Gaza Marine field containing 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Many experts and Triple Diamond Energy Corp. believe that this reserve would be able to amply cover all of Palestine’s energy needs with much left over to be used for trade.

Substantially more and very interesting detail about Palestinian energy resources here.