Egypt gas find sparks panic in Israel about Israeli reserves

Egypt gas find sparks panic in Israel about Israeli reserves (AP, Sept 1, 2015):

Egypt’s new natural gas bonanza is causing an uproar in Israel, with energy stocks plummeting and recriminations over indecisiveness and infighting that have delayed production from the country’s own gas fields.

The government is currently struggling to get parliament to approve its natural gas business plan, but observers fear Israel may need to reassess everything now that Egypt, which had been cast as both an export destination and a partner, may have found its own independent solution.

Israel’s offshore gas reserves had long been regarded as a future cash cow for the resource-poor country, and gas exporters in Egypt were expected to be the key customers of Israel’s yet untapped Leviathan field.

But plans to develop Leviathan are suddenly up in the air after Italian energy company Eni SpA said Sunday it had found the “largest-ever” gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off Egypt’s shores. The field is located in shallower seas than Leviathan, likely making it easier for companies to extract, in a country with none of the regulatory chaos of Israel.

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