Is Israel attacking Gaza for oil and gas?

Gas & Oil Fields in Gaza and Occupied West Bank


Is Israel attacking Gaza for oil and gas?

How much oil and gas does Palestine have?

By Muhdan Saglam

Gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean have been a topic of discussion for a long time. According to a 2010 report by the US Geological Survey, there are 3.4 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in and near the area corresponding to Israel’s Zorh basin.

At the request of the Palestinian Authority, British Gas explored Palestine in 2000 and identified 30 billion cubic meters of gas reserves. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that there are 45 bcm of potential gas reserves in the area, but none in Gaza or other Palestinian territories. Approximately 30-45 bcm of gas reserves exist off the coast of Gaza.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development Report offers precise details on oil reserves. According to the report, the occupied Palestinian territories have 1,525 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

The gas reserves are relatively small compared to other fields, but the oil reserves are significant. Turkey’s gas consumption fluctuates but typically averages around 58-60 bcm annually. The gas discovered in the Gaza gas field can meet Turkey’s gas demand for six months. The small quantity doesn’t hinder gas extraction and should be noticed. Is local production feasible?

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The risks and high fees

There are serious disputes between states in the Eastern Mediterranean regarding maritime jurisdiction, which has significant energy potential. In this context, disputes exist between Turkey and Cyprus-TRNC, Greece-Turkey, Israel-Lebanon, and Israel-Palestine. The states mentioned, along with observers, are discussing and seeking solutions in the Eastern Mediterranean Forum, which Turkey joined late. The absence of Lebanon and Turkey from the forum hinders problem-solving. It’s important to remember that this region has challenges, and there have been occasional conflicts. Another question arises: Can gas and oil be extracted off the coast of Gaza?

With today’s technology, extracting gas and oil in the Marine fields of Gaza is possible. Geopolitical tension and the risk of conflict overshadow resource production and access to energy production.

Meanwhile, the conflicts between Israel and Palestine, which began in 1948 when Israel was established, have continued and occasionally turned into full-scale wars. The region’s geopolitical risk is elevated. Ensuring equipment and personnel safety would be challenging for an energy company operating in the Gaza fields. Companies in high-risk areas take out insurance to mitigate tension and conflict. Insurance costs in Gaza could double or triple gas production profits without an assurance against Israeli attacks. Companies are reluctant because of this. Israel’s suspension of production at the Tamar field after Hamas attacks is a prime example of conflict risk.

The gas resources in that location are crucial for Palestine to meet its energy needs, but extraction requires a compromise. British Gas’ 2000 decision to cease production should be considered in this context. Israel and Palestine have occasionally had discussions on the issue, but no agreement has been reached yet, and it is unlikely to happen soon. While this summarizes the situation on the Palestinian front, what are resources and production?

Israel’s reserves

Israel has been exploring gas in the Eastern Mediterranean since 1999. In 1999, Israel’s resource studies gained momentum with the discovery of small natural gas reserves near the Port of Ashdod. In 2009, exploration efforts resulted in the discovery of 260 bcm of gas off Haifa, starting with the Tamar basin. Approximately one year later, the ‘Leviathan’ field, named after the biblical water creature, revealed around 600 bcm (18 trillion cubic feet) of gas. Without a doubt, there is gas in the specific area. The gas proportion may vary because of the unit used. Along with Tamar and Leviathan, Energean Oil and Gas found 68 bcm of gas and 34 million barrels of light oil in the Karish and Tanin fields in 2019.

As per EIA data, Israel’s confirmed gas reserves total 700 bcm. Considering recent discoveries, the consensus among experts is that this amount is approximately 750 bcm. Israel’s latest data reveals 750 bcm of proven gas reserves and around 50 million barrels of oil.

Israel has been involved in production in these fields since 2010. According to the latest data, Israel’s gas production in 2022 was estimated at approximately 21.9 bcm. The domestic market consumed about 11.5 bcm, and Jordan and Egypt purchased the remaining 9.2 bcm. Egypt’s gas purchases from Israel increased by 48.5% last year, reaching 6.27 bcm, as The Joint Organizations Data Initiative reported. Jordan purchased the remaining three bcm of gas.

Despite not being as big as Russia, Iran, or Qatar, Israel still has significant reserves amidst the ongoing historical conflict with Palestine. Israel’s goal of expanding daily leads to the displacement of the Palestinian people, fueling the war. To overlook the reserves of Israel and Palestine and attribute the recent attacks solely to gas and oil is to oversimplify the issue and disregard the rights of the Palestinian people.

Israel desires to completely control Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Incorporating gas and oil into the scenario amidst a war-torn West Bank because of settlers (even criticized by the Israeli army) has failed to enhance comprehension of energy conflicts and generates unnecessary information pollution.

Israel desires Gaza, but the gas fields are not its priority. First, it already possesses sufficient gas resources and can sell any excess. Second, it effectively halts the production of gas and oil while successfully enforcing the “produce with permission or not at all” approach. A warning should conclude this point. Society and the media should prioritize being wary of experts who rely on memorized facts.

Note: I would like to thank Sohbet Karbuz, Aydın Sezer, and Arif Akturk for providing me with sources and information while writing this article.

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Views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.






12 responses to “Is Israel attacking Gaza for oil and gas?”

  1. summitflyer Avatar

    The oil and gas finds of the coast of Gaza might be the primary reason for the war but I would submit that the finds plus the talked about “Ben Gurion Canal ” would be part of the reason of the Israeli intention to wipe out the existence of the Palestinians , all in one full swoop . It brings to question whether it was just part of the plan .Their version of the final solution.

  2. summitflyer Avatar

    CORRECTION -might not be the primary reason .

  3. Coram Nobis Avatar
    Coram Nobis

    And let’s not forget the Ben Gurion Canal…….to be built as an Israeli substitute for the Suez…..right through Gaza. Could that be another reason for the genocide?

    1. Woopy Avatar

      There’s lots of possible reasons for Israeli genocide on the Palestinians currently. However, historically the white supremacist of Israel seem to enjoy genocide. Whenever they get the urge they’ve murdered people in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and places I can’t think of mostly for fun. Of course, after they perform their genocide, land theft, torture and lie about it, they begin their usual mantra of victimhood. We are victims, we are victims, give us money.

      1. scrdmgl Avatar

        I just finish reading news that our Chinese brothers according to intelligence sources, are working overtime to take over Taiwan since the monster is busy and without any money or resources to fight on another war front. May the good Lord bless and protect China, this may do the trick and bring the whole shebang down due to attrition. Hallelujah

    2. Jack Lomax Avatar
      Jack Lomax

      Could be Coram But the main reason is that they are there an unpleasant and unruly presence When the German National Socialists led by Hitler decided on the final solution it was to forceable eject all Jews to to Middle East ..or anywhere. But of course the Zionists changed that to gassing and and burning the bodies of Six Million Jews starting at the end of 1942 and ending early 1945 when they had lost the war. That these fanatics fearfully mistreated these people in the concentration (they called then work) camps there can be no doubt nor that in the end when the blockade, meant they were running short of food the Russian POW and the Jewish ,Gypsy, Socialist and Communist political prisoners were starved -and shot if they were high profile or misbehaved. In the early advance on the Eastern front the SS had a series of vans with the exhaust into the sealed back and many hundreds of mostly Jews militants and others were murdered. But six million is the Jewish Calabalistic figure used often in their history. This makes me a dreadful enemy of the Zionists. That’s not a good thing to be.

      1. Woopy Avatar

        I’m not sure if “Cabalistic” is the correct word to use for the white supremacist count of 6 million murdered in the work camps; it’s mostly just another lie told by the white supremacists for money and sympathy. The supremacists are known liars and nothing they say can be believed. Realistic figures show about 260,000 white Jews died in concentration camps and they died of starvation, dehydration, disease. Certainly, some were mistreated. The US also placed people in concentration camps, really for no valid reason but had food for them. The Germans began placing the supremacists in camps after the Jewish world council declared war upon Germany in 1933. Of course, England was a big part of the Jewish war movement and ultimately also declared war upon Germany in addition to murdering an estimated 50,000 ethnic Germans using Bolshevik mercenaries bought and paid for with Rothchild bank money.

  4. scrdmgl Avatar

    Any action taken by the Zionist entity is part of a major plan including gaining valuable Lebensraum for the Great Israel plan for the Middle East. Obviously natural resources of any type are a bonus. The Arab meeting in Saudi Arabia was a complete failure, since included traitor Abbas in that group, the man responsible for the assassination of Yasser Arafat.
    Contrary to any reservations that we might have about Hamas, today the represent the only alternative for the liberation of Palestine. The main player in that conference the Saudis, for their own economic reasons failed to openly declare that the only acceptable solution if not perfect, is the two state solution back to the original Israeli borders taken as a ‘Fait accompli’ to expedite matters. Netanyahu as many are trying to claim as the main reason for current events, is a fallacy, a lie. Whoever replaces him it will be the same or worst that the present administration. No Zionist leader will deviate one iota from the plan of eliminating the Palestinians from their land by any means, and the rest of their imperialist plans which are common knowledge despite being hidden by a US controlled world media. A ceasefire is in fact, despite the consequences is a great mistake, Hamas and their fellow brothers must take advantage of a unique historic opportunity that will not be repeated.
    ‘Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead’ as a great American suggested.

  5. Carl Zaisser Avatar
    Carl Zaisser

    I think one of the ethnic cleansers main priorities through this ‘opportunity’ of war is to make Gaza dysfunctional and as much as possible to do the same in the West Bank. The grand prize for Israel would be post-war control of Gaza to make things so miserable for Palestinians living there that eventually the US would agree to force Egypt to allow Gaza’s Palestinian population to relocate into the Egyptian Sinai. Why would Israel want this? Right now there are 7 million Jews and 7 million Palestinian Arabs inside the territory of historic Palestine, i.e. Israel, West Bank and Gaza. This is a huge demographic issue for Israel, now a de facto apartheid ONE state with 14 million people. Move the 2.3 million Arabs in Gaza out, and the Israelis get demographic breathing room: 7 million Jews-4.7 million Palestinian Arabs.

    1. scrdmgl Avatar

      I find an straight parallel between the suicidal WWII Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and Gaza’s fight against the Nazi inspired Zionist extermination campaign. Maybe they’ll fail as the Jews did and were gassed, but life in Gaza’s concentration camp is beyond tolerable. If the massacre continues and succeeds, the Jewish community worldwide will face a well deserved backlash, since they are complicit with Israel buy supporting and financing their regime on top of America limitless cash flow for into this murderous entity. Most Jewish protesters against Netanyahu’s massacre know this very well, hence their opposition to the campaign.
      I’m sorry but I can not in all honesty, give them the benefit of the doubt. Where were them before this campaign? No a soul opened their mouths (in general), now they are afraid of a second well deserved holocaust.

  6. Prometheus Avatar

    “No a soul opened their mouths (in general), now they are afraid of a second well deserved holocaust.”

    Bu££$hit. There are many Jews (and always were from the beginning) opposed bitterly to Zionism for a variety of reasons, including religious belief that worship of the soil is an idolatrous sacrilege and betrayal of the humanistic, inclusive faith built over the course of two millennia of diapora.
    This Zionist primitive throwback to old testament tribal vendetta theology emereged from British Israelism in the 16th century Puritan delusion that the successful pi££age of ye olde Brutish Vampire during the first Elizabethan age proved them a ‘lost tribe of the chosen people’; ‘chosen people’ being a precursor synonym of Adolf’s narcissistic ‘Master Race’ idiocy derived from pseudoscientific rationalisation of genetics, twined through Darwinian heirarchical evolutionary classification of species, and garnished with a drizzle of 19th century counter-imperial nationalism breaking its useful harness into full-blown industrialisation of a fresh imperial war order, all salted and funded by banKKKing and oil interests seeking a beachhead in western Asia to cack open the dying Ottoman territories for further ‘divide et impera’ £ooting. Suez, juglar for b£eeding Asia, being adjacent doubled the stakes.
    Less of the simplistic water-muddying.

    1. scrdmgl Avatar

      We clash again for unnecessary reasons simply because you think and reason on absolutes.
      Some of the people that I most admire are of Jewish extraction whatever that means.
      Scientists, academics, artists of every description, historians, most of them non religious besides the minor fringe of ultra orthodox in a world Jewish population of 15.3 million as of 2022, not a great number but certainly with lot of push and power.. These great Jews were and are people that made great contributions to humanity for quite some time. However when I mention numbers, unfortunately the figures are very low. The reason is that the Zionist lobby present in every country in the world does a good job of keeping tabs on Jewish members of the community who fail to do their job for the good of Israel and Zionism. Just to mention a common example we can use American Katie Halper who dared to toe the line and lost her job and source of income. I seriously recommend to you that consider the fact that I’m not the enemy for not sharing you own personal views and stop interpreting my every word, as a sign of exclusive dogma. I don’t know how old you are but I can assure you that I lived through crucial moments of world history such as the rush of American assassinations of major enemies of the excesses of capitalism like: JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr. and others who paid with their lives opposing the US regime.
      I was 18 when ‘they’ (certainly not LHO of course) took out JFK, this single and cardinal fact is kept under wraps, and nobody talks about it in America or anywhere else being a taboo subject.