By Claudia Assis
Nearly three years ago, an Israeli raid on a Turkish ship bound for Gaza unhinged the relatively close relationship between the two countries.
Israel and Turkey have grown closer to mending diplomatic ties in recent days, and that may come with a nice perk: an export route for Israeli natural gas.
A leading option for Israel to get its natural-gas riches to the market is an undersea pipeline linking Israel and Turkey directly, an article on Quartz said.
That would be cheaper than a floating liquefied natural gas plant, a technology that is also relatively new, and less fraught with political implications than exporting natural gas via Cyprus, split between a Turkish-speaking north and a Greek-speaking south.
In recent days, Israel and Turkey have grown closer and have signed a draft agreement to compensate Turkey for the deaths of protesters aboard the ship; once finalized, the agreement could lead to full diplomatic ties.
Among Israel’s aims is to reopen vital trade routes with Turkey, including an export outlet for its natural-gas finds in Eastern Mediterranean, Quartz said.
That area is one of the most promising in natural gas production, with Israel’s Tamar field entering production in late March. Tamar alone is estimated to provide 50% to 80% of Israel’s natural-gas needs for a decade.
Noble Energy Inc., which operates Tamar, upped its estimates for the field to 10 trillion cubic feet in early April. Another Israeli field, the aptly named Leviathan, is thought to hold even more –18 trillion cubic feet of natural-gas reserves.
Lebanon is readying its first batch of oil and gas licenses, and Cyprus is also sitting on natural gas riches — they were one of the island’s bargaining chips during its messy bailout negotiations earlier this year.