Israel Could Export Natural Gas to Its Neighbors, Landau Says

Israel could export recently discovered natural gas to Jordan and the Palestinian Territories, Israeli Energy Minister Uzi Landau said at a conference in Athens today.

The government wants to be sure that a possible agreement to develop a gas field off the Gaza Strip will benefit the Palestinian Territories and won’t be used to finance the Hamas movement that controls Gaza, Landau said.

“We want to promote economic agreements with Palestine, but Israel wants to be sure that a gas agreement will benefit Palestinians and their power, desalination and sewage plants,” and not finance weapons purchases, he said.

Gas could also be exported to Asia or Europe, Landau said.

Once a decision on how to export the gas is made, between seven and 10 years would be needed to make it happen, Landau said. Of the estimated 3,500 billion cubic meters of offshore gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, about 40 percent are in Israeli waters, he added.

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