energy

Game changer: Russia prepares to develop Gaza gas

PALESTINIAN POLICE GUARDS DURING THE CERMONY FOR THE FIRST PALESTINIAN OFFSHORE GAS WELL.

With everything that’s happening in the world today, from Iraq to Syria to Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iran, this has to be the most exciting and volatile period in the history of mankind.

In a significant political and economic development, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Jan. 23 with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting came as a prerequisite to officially sign an investment agreement aiming to develop the Gaza offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. It is only logical to assume that this step will raise the ire of Israel. The latter does not appreciate the role Russia plays in the region, especially since Israel has never come to an agreement with Russia.

The timeline of when gas was discovered and everything that happened in between is very interesting and well worth examining. But suffice it to say that the amount of gas in question is substantial and will no doubt cause Israel and the US much consternation.

It is important to note that according to economic estimations, the reserve of Marine Gaza can hold up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas, noting that its development will need three to four years and will cost around a billion dollars. The revenues of this field are estimated at $6 to $7 billion a year, throughout many years. A part of the said revenues will be given to the Palestinian Authority in the form of taxes and fees. This is supposed to render the authority independent from donor countries.

Abbas announced in Moscow that he is dealing with Russia as a major power, which has to play a key role in the Middle East. He added, “We are happy to see that Russia is an active and influential power on the international arena.” Abbas old Itar-Tass, “We would like to see Russia playing a leading role in the Middle East, since it is a major power.”

This could very well be a game changer. Between an avalanche of advancing technologies and seismic shifts in geopolitics and finance, it’s hard to tell which way the chips will land.

Categories: energy, Gaza, Russia

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24 replies »

  1. Now just how is Israel going to get around this one? The US says it will stop aid to the Palestinians over their membership in the International Criminal Court (because now Israel will have to answer for it’s actions) so in steps Russia and writes in an exploration of gas deal. And what IS that noise? Oh, it’s the foot in mouth disease the US just caught. A little more unforeseen circumstances of being Israel’s lap dog

    Liked by 2 people

      • Russia along with Iran and Syria just might have a go at Saudi Arabia. And with over a million ethnic Russian Jews living in Israel-it would be kind of hard for Israel to stick it to Russia.

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  2. It appears that the long term strategy of Israel is to eliminate the Palestinian presence in Gaza and enjoy all the offshore resources for Israel’s benefit. The interminable “Middle East peace negotiations” at Camp David and elsewhere have been political cover for Israel to play at negotiating with the Palestinians while continuing to take over the Occupied Territories with settlements and drive the Palestinians out.
    Now that gas has been discovered off the coast of Israel and Gaza, it is even more important to Israel to eliminate the Palestinian presence in Gaza.
    The US has been pushing Europe to reduce its imports of natural gas from Russia and to substitute gas from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Central Asia. This would corral all these areas together with Europe inside the US sphere of influence. The Nabucco/TANAP pipeline project that the US and EU have been promoting since about 2003 was originally intended to bring natural gas to Europe from Egypt, Israel, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq. Turkey and Syria were to be key links in the pipeline route. Unfortunately, Iran was ruled out by US sanctions, Iraq is unstable, and President Assad in Syria refused permission for Qatar, Egypt, and Israel to send gas via Syria. The attempt to depose the Russia -friendly President Mubarack in Egypt and replace him with the cooperative leader Mohamed Morsi proved futile, since secular and military forces kicked Morsi out and replaced him with a new (Russia-friendly) leader, El-Sisi. Attempts to remove Assad from Syria have proved futile so far. The Free Syrian Army failed to oust Assad, so ISIS has been set loose to try, with aid from Israel, the USA, EU, and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, and Qatar. Assad is supported by Shiite Iran, Shiites in Iraq, and by Russia.
    Thus, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, and Qatar were no longer seen as potential suppliers for the Nabucco/TANAP line, and Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan were not able to promise sufficient volumes of gas to make the Nabucco/TANAP line feasible, so Azerbaijan announced in 2013 that it would send its gas via the smaller TAP line to Turkey and then through to Italy. Russia thus remains the largest supplier of natural gas for eastern Europe.
    The announcement by Russia that it is supporting Gaza’s ambitions to develop its gas fields and export gas is a direct counter to Israeli and USA ambitions in Middle East power politics. This puts Gaza and its gas fields directly under Russia’s protection, so any further invasions or military actions by Israel against Gaza risk attracting a military response by Russia. Screams of outrage by Bibi Netanyahoo of Israel seem likely now.
    China has announced that it is backing Russia in the economic and financial war being waged against Russia by the USA and EU, and in the Russian fight to support the value of its Ruble. However, China has been conspicuously silent with respect to the US/EU vs Russia disputes over Ukraine and NATO, while happily signing up deals with Russia for natural gas pipelines and various financial and industrial joint ventures. There should be no doubt that China would approve of the Russian move to develop the Gaza gas fields and support Gaza against Israel, as this will increase China’s potential access to energy supplies, and serve as a counter against US and Israeli influence. Just as North Korea is a useful tool for China as NK serves to unsettle Japan and South Korea. so Russia is useful to China as a proxy to unsettle the US and EU in their attempts to spread economic and military influence.

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  3. When the Mavi Marmara and the rest of the aid flotilla tried to enter Gaza the Israelis murdered nine crew members with impunity. I’m eagerly waiting to see them try that with a Russian drill rig!

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  4. Finally a first world nation interested in financing a gas play that will help the poorest of the poor in the Middle East. you would never see the US doing that. All their eggs are in one broken basket, Israel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolute kudos to Putin & Russia!!!…….:)

    There is no way Jewsa & its puppets masters Israel will be pleased about this deal. I would think the Israeli butcher leader will be crying about this when he speaks to the Jewsa Congress, no doubt demanding that Jewsa stops Russia from doing it.

    Good luck on that one…………ha ha.

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