Gas exploration companies Noble Energy Inc.,
Delek Group Ltd.
and others have discovered enough natural gas to supply Israel’s
domestic needs for the next 150 years, an investigative report published by Bloomberg news agency claimed on Saturday.
"The gas would be worth about $240 billion, equal to Israel’s annual economic output, based on today’s prices in the UK," the report claimed.
The report described Israel's ongoing debate over how to manage the gas discoveries. While many in Israel are lobbying to prevent exports
and instead store gas reservoirs for times of need, others have called to make quick profits
from gas exports by pipeline or ship.
The report quotes Nick Maden, a senior vice president for international exploration at Statoil ASA as saying that he "would be surprised if some of the gas in Israel isn’t stranded," as there has been "more gas discovered than you can commercialize."
Noble Chief Executive Officer Charles Davidson was also quoted in the report as saying during a May conference that the company has found "far more natural gas that can ever be used in Israel."
Bloomberg also pointed to several strategic challenges that Israel faces in its gas fields, including security threats that deter prospective investors and territorial disputes