Israel boosting natural gas production for Europe – report

Israel is poised to replace Russia as Europe diversifies its energy sources.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Israel is increasing its natural gas production in the hopes of clinching an agreement to supply Europe, Reuters reported on Monday.

The report comes amid the backdrop of Europe reducing its reliance on Russia for energy. Crude oil prices have risen since Europe proposed banning Russian oil imports. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, Europe relied on Russia for about 25 percent of its oil needs.

According to Reuters, Israel is currently pumping 20 billion cubic meters of gas from its offshore reserves, and is poised to double that number “in the next few years” as other gas projects expand and go online.

Currently, Israeli gas is primarily used domestically, or sold to Egypt and Jordan.

Earlier in May, Energean, a gas exploration company, announced that it found what it estimates to be 8 billion cubic meters in Israel’s offshore Athena exploration area.

The find marked the first discovery from drilling licenses that were issued in 2017 by then-Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. It also raised the overall amount of confirmed gas in Israel’s offshore Exclusive Economic Zone to 800 billion cubic meters.

As Europe moves to diversify its energy sources, Turkey has been courting Israeli cooperation to deliver gas to the continent.