Israel Can Help America Reduce Its Dependence on Russia and Iran for Energy

April 20, 2022 | Dore Gold
About the author: Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, is a former ambassador of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999) and the author of, among other books , Hatred’s Kingdom, The Fight for Jerusalem, and The Rise of Nuclear Iran.

In 2022, Dore Gold writes, there are “two related centers of gravity for energy production, and they both threaten the West: Russia and Iran.” Over the past century, energy has played a decisive role in many of the political-military struggles that have shaped the Middle East, proving the dangers of “relying on rogue states for something [this] fundamental.” Gold outlines potential energy-production operations that could be established in Israel and its allies in the Middle East, and charts a diplomatic path toward pursuing such enterprises.

The European dependence on Russian gas has undermined the West’s ability to isolate Vladimir Putin for his savage invasion of Ukraine. In the case of Iran, under the guise of a flawed nuclear deal, the West is preparing to remove sanctions on the world’s number-one sponsor of terror and a major oil producer. . . . The Ukraine crisis in particular has illustrated just how vitally important the diversification of the sources of European gas has become and the urgency of finding alternatives to Russian gas, if only to reduce Moscow’s leverage over Europe and the NATO alliance.

A pivotal moment in reducing that leverage began to emerge in 2009, with the discovery of immense reserves of natural gas off Israel’s coast that reached 381 trillion cubic feet, or roughly 5 percent of the world’s gas reserves. This came at a time when European energy consumption was becoming increasingly reliant on natural gas and less dependent upon oil and coal.

Experts who looked at Israel’s offshore geology have concluded with certainty that much more gas was present. It only required further investment to extract it. After the discovery of the immense Leviathan gas field with 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, a team of MIT geologists, who analyzed the Levant basin, reached the conclusion that there were six more Leviathans within Israel’s territorial waters that could reach 108 trillion cubic feet of gas if proven.

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