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Natural gas field discovered on Gaza’s coast


The besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza now enjoys the prospect of energy independence – a huge gain as fuel supplies to Gaza have restricted by Israel and Egypt. The big question – will Israel allow the gas field’s development?

Palestinian MP Dr Salem Salama, a member of the economic committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council, announced that the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip has discovered a natural gas field off the coast of the central province.

In remarks to Sout Al-Aqsa on Monday morning, he noted that the field is only 200 to 300 meters away from the central province’s beach, which means that the natural gas can be easily extracted.

“The fact that the field is so close to the beach will facilitate the work of any company that might invest in this field. The return will be great for the Gaza Strip, in economic terms”, he added.

Salama also revealed that the Palestinian Legislative Council has summoned the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Economy to provide more details about the subject and to discuss the government’s view on how to benefit most from this field.

Fishermen ‘saw bubbles’ rising from the seabed

The MP explained that the field was discovered by a number of Palestinian fishermen when they saw bubbles coming out from the water and at first thought they were the result of plants or fish moving.

He pointed out that a number of navy personnel then took samples of the gas to the laboratories at the Islamic University, where it was confirmed that the substance was natural gas.

The Gaza Strip’s inhabitants have suffered for several years under an Israeli-imposed siege, including tight restrictions on the border crossings.

And end to fuel scarcity?

This has often resulted in electricity cuts that increase in certain seasons due to the scarcity of fuel and the weakness of Gaza’s only power station, which has negatively impacted all aspects of life in the Strip. To make matters worse, the Israeli occupation also targeted the station in the summer of 2006.

The development of the gas field would bring huge benefits to Gaza, including an end to its dependency on imports of fuel. The gas could be used as domestic cooking and heating fuel, to supply the territory’s power station, and even to run vehicles that have been adapted to run on gas.

Furthermore it would provide Gaza’s government with a much-needed source of revenue to pay for imports (most of which have to enter through tunnels from Egypt), pay salaries, and finance social programs and infrastructure improvements.

But progress will depend on Israel’s willingness to allow an offshore gas rig to be installed, along with all other necessary equipment to enable the gas to be extracted and brought to shore.

 the ecologist

6 Comments on "Natural gas field discovered on Gaza’s coast"

  1. rockman on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 10:53 am 

    Actually progress will be made subject to how the operator disburses the royalty. The very short story: Israel might allowed goods and food be paid to the Palestinians but not any cash. Israel has made that clear and has refused to allow anyone to drill if they don’t agree. Legal or not no one is going to make such a huge investment under an Israelly threat. Only time will tell if the people get any relief from that resource.

  2. toolpush on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 11:36 am 

    If the gas field is only a few hundred yards off the beach,as reported, then an offshore drilling rig will not be required. A directionally drilled hole from the beach is all that is required.

    Exxon in Sakhalin, is drilling 40,000 ft holes into formations only 6,000 ft deep to reach an offshore oil field.

    Question: Have they drilled a hole into this new wonder field? sounds like they have just been collecting the shark farts rising from below.

    It sounds like more fluff than fact. Not saying nothing will be found, but nothing is proven until it is penetrated by a drill bit.

  3. Nony on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 1:44 pm 

    Shh…you’re queering the pitch. 🙁

  4. jimmy on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 4:08 pm 

    Hamas propaganda. The situation in Gaza is increasingly desperate. Lack of clean water, near continual electric outages, extreme petrol shortage, widespread unemployment, under siege by both Israel and Egypt. This list goes on and on. Now there are supposed gas bubbles noticed by simple fisherman! Allahu Akbar we are saved! Maybe they should fire a few more rockets into the Israeli desert. So far that’s been the Hamas solution to their problems.

  5. rockman on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 4:26 pm 

    Actually since 2000 there have been a number of offshore NG discoveries. Negotiations going on ever since then over the control and revenue distibution. Israel will never allow $1 of revenue to reach TPTB in Palestine for fear in would allow more weapons to be purchased. For Israel it will never be about what is legal or fair. It’s all about self defense. And as long as there are ME govts advocating the destruction of Israel there no reason to expect a change in Israely attitudes IMHO.

  6. PapaSmurf on Sun, 2nd Mar 2014 11:55 pm 

    I would not be surprised if Israel sets up offshore drilling on the edge of their economic zone offshore, then drills horizontally over to snag any natural gas in the Gaza zone.

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