U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- Given that Israel's total primary energy demand is significantly higher than its total primary energy production (1.0 quadrillion Btu versus 0.1 quadrillion Btu in 2011) the country relies heavily on imports to meet its growing energy needs.
- As of January 2013, the Oil & Gas Journal estimated Israel's proved reserves of oil at 12 million barrels and its proved reserves of natural gas at 9.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). While neither figure places Israel in the top-40 globally, these totals are significantly higher than they were a few years ago and position Israel to develop its hydrocarbon potential.
- Energy exploration over the past several years uncovered significant natural gas resources in Israel, primarily in the country's offshore areas. The Mari-B field—discovered in 2000—provided the first significant volumes of domestically-produced natural gas to Israel's markets, but in 2012 production plummeted as the field entered the final stages of depletion. In prior years, the Mari-B field met up to 40 percent of Israel's natural gas demand.
- Israel hopes to begin commercial production of natural gas from the Tamar field (located offshore, near Haifa) as soon as April 2013. The natural gas produced from the Tamar field will be sent to onshore facilities via the existing infrastructure at the Mari-B development site. Until those volumes are secured, Israel agreed to a short-term supply contract for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the state-owned Israel Electric Company. Plans are moving forward on a floating LNG project that will draw from the Tamar field—and the nearby Dalit—to produce up to 3 million tons of LNG per year as soon as 2017.
- The most significant find in offshore Israel is the Leviathan field, located approximately 80 miles off the coast and situated in water that is more than 5,000 feet deep. Assessments of the Leviathan field indicate that there could be as much as 17 Tcf of recoverable natural gas in place. There is an ongoing debate inside Israel over how much of this potentially lucrative resource should be set aside for exports and how much should be directed to meet internal demand. The operator—American company Noble Energy—expects initial volumes of 750 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) in 2016.
- While historically Israel has been an importer of natural gas—most recently through the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline from Egypt—the discoveries of the Tamar and Leviathan fields (among several others) should allow the country to become a significant exporter of natural gas in the next decade. There are competing proposals to develop pipelines and LNG infrastructure to support natural gas exports, but deliberations about how Israel will get its natural gas to market are still ongoing.
- In 2011, Israel consumed 13.9 million short tons of coal, mostly for use in electricity generation. That figure is likely to go down as Israel's natural gas sector continues its rapid growth and coal-fired generating capacity is replaced by natural gas-fired generating capacity.
Analysis Last Updated: March 2013
Overview data for Israel+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; F = Forecast value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: February 12, 2013
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