Israel announced that production from its “Leviathan” oil and gas field has started. The platform started well production to mark the end of 2019.
The Leviathan field is a large gas repository with reserves estimated as 40 years of Israel’s domestic needs. It is not the only field in production, the Tamar field adjacent to Leviathan had been brought online in 2011.
Up until the discovery and development of these two huge fields Israel had always been looked upon as and energy dependent Nation within a region of energy production plenty – and, ironically of course, – the Arab nations were the ones with the oil. So this does represent a major rebalancing of the scales of power within the region.
I must admit that my own naive hope here is that it can help lead to mutually beneficial partnerships between Israel and her neighbors. I find it incredible that the Palestinians, for example, are not working full time on developing much closer business relationships with Israel . After all if the Palestinian territories were to become much more affluent surely that would help the cause of peace? And, with affluence and peace comes a better life for all the residents of the area, Israeli and Palestinian.
If we look at the maps showing where the fields are and where the pipelines are it becomes obvious, I think that countries like Lebanon and Jordan could also benefit immensely from these developments and maybe the western part of Syria.
If Lebanon and the Palestinian territories can become much more self sufficient or even affluent in themselves it would go a long way to drawing down the influence of Iran or Saudi Arabia.
I do hope…