Energy resources discovered in recent years will provide Israel with a safe and stable future of energy independence. The search for energy resources within Israel that began back in the 1950's yielded only limited success, including a small number of reserves, most notably the "Heletz" oil field. In 1999, Delek Energy Systems Ltd. and Noble Energy Inc. discovered Israel's first large natural gas reservoir, Noa, located offshore opposite Ashkelon and later, the Mari B natural gas field.
These reservoirs continue to provide natural gas and currently fuel 40% of Israel's electricity production. Additional large reservoirs discovered in recent years off the Israeli coast are estimated by the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources to contain some 45 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
In January 2009, a newly discovered natural gas reservoir, the Tamar field, was announced. This field, which is located off the coast of Haifa, is currently in the development stage and is expected to begin production in 2013. Smaller reservoirs were subsequently discovered in March 2009 (Dalit) and February 2012 (Tanin). The Leviathan gas field, one of the largest reservoirs discovered in the world in the last decade, was discovered in June 2010. These discoveries will ensure Israel's energy security for decades to come and have established Israel as being one of the 30 countries with the largest natural gas reserves in the world. And this, even before all of the oil and natural gas fields expected to be located within the State of Israel's domain have been discovered.
The core of Israel's energy independence is the construction of a national-economic array that will allow sufficient production to fulfill all of Israel's current and future energy needs. The Association of Oil and Gas Exploration Industries in Israel was established in 2010 to further the contribution of these resources to Israel's economy, society and environment and ensure its stability and security. Some 22 companies operating in this field joined the association at that time.
The State of Israel is going through an energy revolution and is on the brink of a tremendous and historic breakthrough into the international energy market.
Rony Halman and Uri Alduby
Among the founders of the Association of Oil and Gas Exploration Industries in Israel