Gas: American mask for an Israeli face

تم نشره في Sun 28 September / Sep 2014. 02:26 PM

By Jumana Ghunaimat

In its response to a previous article I wrote titled "Israeli gas: See benefits?" the Ministry of Energy elaborated on its efforts to gain multiple sources of energy, which is the subject of the article.

The ministry has provided a lot of information about energy projects, which it is working to accomplish, and offered all the agreements it signed to ensure reach multiple sources of energy, to the extent that almost it convinced me that, after all these efforts, the problem of energy on the way to a solution.

The ministry talked about the gas port, the agreements for renewable energy and another with Cyprus to import gas from global markets, also its efforts in the field of oil shale and support national petroleum company, as proof that they are doing the tasks required of them, and that planning for this vital sector is moving towards sector strategy and achieving the concept of energy security.

Personally, I would advise the readers to return to the prolonged response by the ministry, which said it every arcane detail related to what it did during the past two years, with the aim of showing the weakness in the analysis in the article and question the information that came in it.

The problem is that a couple of days after the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Dr. Mohammad Hamed stated that the lack of other options of energy sources currently available force the government to go for the option of Israeli gas, even though it needs some two years to arrive as the initial agreement between the parties choose 2017 as the date for the gas influx.

The minister blew up all his words and his assertions that the government seeks to provide a safe mixture of energy sources that are local produced.

In case all the information that came in the ministry’s reply were true, I do not why we would be importing 300 million cubic feet of gas, from Israel daily, which is close to the full needs of the Kingdom of gas, since we hope, according to the reply, that we provide local sources of energy?

Perhaps the words of the minister would have been precise if the Israeli gas was planned to arrive tomorrow, but it needs approximately 27 months to arrive, which is long enough to work on local sources if there were intentions to do so, which means that the argument of the government is rendered meaningless and reveals the shallowness of the justifications of importing Israeli gas.

In the meantime, we assume, according to what the government claims, that the gas port will be ready mid next year, which allows for the importation of gas from global markets before the Israeli’s.

Moreover, many of the projects that the government spoke of in the electricity and renewable energy sectors are supposed to take far less time to complete than what it would take the American Noble Energy  to deliver the gas through the Mediterranean Sea, which is needed to create an influx into Jordan for this purpose.

Between the "compelling" details in the government’s response and the minister's comments during a seminar held by an assembly for the perpetuation of energy and environment, there is a far cry; we do not know how accurate it is that the government is trying to diversify the Kingdom’s energy mix and how little are our options for the next two years.

It does not seem farfetched that all these talks about the lack of options comes in conjunction with the cessation of Egyptian gas, which got us in this crisis, is only a prelude to accept the Israeli gas as the only option. And by the way, it is not a tempting option in terms of price, so what forces us to link the future of the country in vital sectors to the enemy; water through the Bahraini channels and a gas agreement with an American mask and an Israeli face?



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.