We’ve been a bit preoccupied with COVID-19, protests, murders, rising markets, and gun sales in the U.S., so maybe we should look abroad and see what’s happening.
Seemingly without much notice, at the beginning of the year Israel started pumping natural gas onshore from its giant Tamar natural gas field, which holds an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet of the stuff. Now Israel is also pumping gas from its much bigger Leviathan field, which is just east of the Tamar field in the Mediterranean Sea. The country is extracting enough natural gas to make it energy independent, which is a good thing, considering how much it is hated by its neighbors. Israel has signed agreements to provide energy to Egypt and Jordan, much to the consternation of energy-producing Turkey and other Middle Eastern neighbors.
Now Israel has signed a deal to build an undersea pipeline to ship the stuff to Europe, powering Cyprus, Greece, and Italy. This comes as Russia is building out a second gas pipeline, Nordstream II, to Germany.
The energy supplied from Israel will make the recipients less reliant on countries such as Turkey, which has vowed not to let an undersea pipeline from Israel to Europe cross its national waters. The developments throw the region into disarray and further destabilize energy-rich countries that have used their wealth for questionable purposes.