By Arlene Bridges Samuels, CBNIsrael—
In past centuries, explorers could never have imagined sailing the seas in search of underwater treasures beyond those in sunken ships. However, in today’s explorations, another kind of fortune lies deep: natural offshore riches accessible only through modern technology. Indeed, the 1999 discovery of natural gas fields off Israel’s coast set off an energy “seaquake” of massive reserves in a world beset by increasing energy anxiety.
On June 6, the Israeli Navy escorted a new natural gas rig into the Mediterranean. Israel contracted with Energean Power, a British energy company, to locate its new floating production, storage, and offloading vessel in the Karish (“shark”) gas field that was discovered in 2019. From the Marine Admiralty Yard in Singapore, two tugs guided the 772-ton rig on a journey of 5,532 nautical miles. After 35 days—crossing six seas—they finally cruised through the Suez Canal. The Karish rig now sits in the Mediterranean Sea about 90 miles west of Haifa. And it may be operational in the last quarter of this year.
As examples of potential, the Tamar and Leviathan fields, operating since 2004 and 2009 respectively, have drilled into the depths of the energy treasure chests to tap into a combined extract potential of an estimated 690 billion cubic meters of natural gas. And that’s good news for the energy-dependent nations of Europe.
Presently, the small Jewish state’s big rigs are towering in their Mediterranean maritime zone and rising into one of the world’s leading natural gas resources. Although Russia has the world’s largest gas reserves, Israel’s massive fields are God’s resounding blessing, as their modern land mass is only 270 miles long and 85 miles wide.
Psalm 37:6-8 is a beautiful reminder: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.”
The natural gas fields are set to profit—and even rescue—other nations, as well. On June 15 Israel, Egypt, and the European Union inked a significant agreement for Israel to export natural gas to Egypt, where it will be liquified for export to Europe.
The trilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Cairo at the East Mediterranean Gas Forum by Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Tarek El-Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum. El-Molla told reporters in December that Egypt’s two liquefying production facilities were fully operational after the Damietta plant had been dormant for eight years. The trilateral agreement is a win-win-win in an era of global energy challenges and complexities. Continue Reading….