Energy and Water Security
Energy and Water SecurityISTOCK

Energy prices soared in 2022. Whether the spike was due to the war in Ukraine, supply shortages, or new global green energy mandates is debatable. What isn’t debatable is that everyone from a simple homeowners to a big business located anywhere in the world, are looking not only for energy savings but energy security.

For instance, says Fixd Repair Services out of Dallas, the cost of energy combined with basic repairs is cause for some homeowners to lose sleep at night. When it comes to HVAC equipment, breakdowns can and will happen, which is why you need a licensed service that will not only work with you, but that will keep costs in check while utilizing energy efficient parts and machinery.

Taken on a much larger scale, an arid country like Israel has two very basic but important needs when it comes to basic survival. That is, energy and water. This where the great state of Texas enters the equation. According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, a lucrative business partnership between Texas-based and Israeli-based companies are on their way to solving two of Israel’s most severe economic insecurities.

Huge quantities of natural gas that are being accessed from more than four miles under the Mediterranean are presently coming ashore. The natural gas is being utilized to feed desalination and power plants which, in both the short and long-run put to rest severe anxieties regarding the country’s water and electricity supplies.

The clean burning natural gas is providing the Israeli industrial complexes with fuel that’s said to be cheap. Hadera based paper mills presently utilizing diesel oil for a power source are planning to make the switch to natural gas. The same goes for a sugar refinery situated in Kiryat Gat which will soon relay on natural gas for both heat and energy.

Says the Dallas Morning News, the $20 billion company leading this transition in Israel is the Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. Said to be an emerging international gas and oil business, Noble, along with three Israeli businesses, are credited with having discovered the Tamar natural gas fields in January of 2009.

Having spent $3.25 billion to drill and develop the field which includes $800 for the construction of a platform engineered and constructed in Corpus Christi, Tamar is in the enviable position of providing Israel with most of its fuel now and for the foreseeable future.

Says the head of marketing for the Dallas-based refinery company, The Alon Group, which is also a partner is the Tamar Field, Noble’s contribution to Israel is unreal. It not only changes the lives of Israelis, but it boosts their economy. This could only be accomplished by the partnering of Israeli ingenuity and Texas brawn.

Noble’s CEO and chairman says the natural gas project has not only had a tangible impact on their company, but more importantly a positive tangible impact of the entirety of the state of Israel. He goes on to say that he and his team are more than proud to be developing new-found clean natural gas resources in Israel.

It was only fifteen years ago that Israel was forced to rely on imported oil, diesel fuel, and more to satisfy their energy needs. Power plants even burned coal. It also relied on the receding Sea of Galilee along with underground aquifers for their fresh water supply.

At present, Israel’s relatively peaceful relationship with Egypt and the hope for discovering gas under the Mediterranean encouraged the government to start the shift toward clean natural gas-fired electric power plus water desalination for drinking, bathing, and cleaning purposes. That said, a pipeline was allowed to be constructed between Egyptian fields located close to Israel’s port of Ashkelon and Arish.

Noble is not new to Israel. They first made inroads with the country back in 1998 when it began producing gas from what’s been described as the humble-sized Mari-B field off Ashkelon. In 2004, the Ashkelon field was also linked with two more small fields.

At the same time, Egypt’s plan to become the primary regional gas and oil supplier began to wane as Israel’s domestic production of both oil and natural gas, via Noble, steadily increased. During the tumultuous time when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a coup with lead to a revolution, militant groups began to attack the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline with alarming regularity. It’s estimated that between 2010 and 2012 alone, portions of the pipeline were purposely bombed 14 times.

In April of 2012, what was meant to be a 20-year deal, the Egyptian-Israeli gas contract was abandoned. This meant that Israel had to think quickly about how to replace close to 50 percent of its supply of natural gas. At the same time, the price of electricity jumped by 20 percent overnight.

This was Noble’s time to shine. It resulted in full-bore production on the Mari-B and it’s connecting smaller fields. Noble also upped the schedule on the Tamar field, now shooting for a 2013 startup. To fill the energy gap, the Israel Electric Corp. utilized some of its diesel-fired units while planning for new imports of liquefied natural gas supplies.

According to the Dallas Morning News, with Tamar now in full production mode, Israel’s natural gas and water crisis is officially over. The field is said to contain enough reserves to supply Israel’s energy and desalination needs for 20 to 25 years, even as the projected demand for the product is expected to grow by 15 percent every year.

In 2010, Noble discovered the Leviathan field 50 miles west of Haifa. Leviathan holds an estimated 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, which represents more than twice the reserves of the Tamar field. By 2018, Noble hoped to start exporting Israeli natural gas. At the time, this prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refer to the natural gas fields as “manna from heaven,” a tribute to the Old Testament and the story of Moses and the Lost Ark of the Covenant which provided food, or manna, for Israelites who were fleeing Egyptian oppression.

Said a Noble spokesperson, with vision, perseverance, and faith, Israel has achieved the energy independence it has always sought for its people. It has also provided a new source of fresh water. A miracle? Perhaps. But for sure, a testament to Texas and Israeli ingenuity and plain hard work.