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Russia State owned Gazprom cut off gas to Europe in the dead of an especially cold winter 8 years ago. Think about that, if you still think that Putin is a sweetheart. Since that time, the EU has been trying to find ways to lessen its dependence upon Russian gas. Needless to say, since the larger oil and gas companies are owned by the Russian government, Putin doesn’t want Europe to diversify its energy sources.

Pipeline proposal


Israel has 24 offshore oil and gas blocks still out to bid till 10 July 2017. Bids started in November 2016. Short, beautifully made video, and important to watch.

Israel Gas Opportunities link: http://youtu.be/Y_Osu8zWG48
Will Gazprom or Rosneft bid for (a) block(s)?

While it has not become a law, it is interesting to say the least:
H.R. 5066 was introduced during the 114 th Congress, which would authorize the President to provide assistance to Israel in protecting its offshore natural gas fields.” (CRS, Ratner, 2016) https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R44591.pdf

Donald Trump’s late father, Fred, was even friends with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dynamics are constantly changing. In December, well after the US election in November, Bloomberg reported that Russian (majority) State owned Rosneft will buy a 30% stake from partially Italian State owned Eni in its Shorouk concession for $1.13 billion. BP is also there. According to the Eni .com web site, “The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance has de facto control of Eni SpA by virtue of interests held either directly or via the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP).” The huge Zohr field is part of the Shorouk concession. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zohr_Field Read: “Rosneft Snaps Up Stake in Eni’s Giant Egyptian Gas Discovery” by Elena Mazneva and Stephen Bierman December 12, 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-12/rosneft-to-pay-up-to-2-8-billion-to-join-eni-egyptian-gas-block

Shortly thereafter, offshore Cyprus, US Sec. of State Rex Tillerson’s former Company, “ExxonMobil takes block 10“. December 21, 2016 http://in-cyprus.com/exxon-mobile-takes-block-10/ Exxon joins Eni, and partially French gov owned Total, as well as Qatar Petroleum.

For those who missed it or forgot: “Russia Cuts Gas, and Europe Shivers“Jan 6, 2009, “Russia’s gas price dispute with Ukraine escalated, disrupting deliveries to the European Union in the midst of a bitter cold spell“. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/world/europe/07gazprom.html

There were additional threats. This one in 2015: “Putin’s gas threat: What happens if Russia cuts the gas to Europe? Expert says: ‘If there was a general shortage of gas across Europe, Britain would run short very soon’“, Adam Withnall Friday 27 February 2015 09:27 GMT

April 3rd: “EU to cut gas dependency on Russia with Israel pipeline“, 03.04.2017 http://www.dw.com/en/eu-to-cut-gas-dependency-on-russia-with-israel-pipeline/a-38269274

On April 4th the chemical weapons attack occurred in Syria. On Thursday, April 6th, the US launched a limited attack upon Syria. A curious coincidence?

Cyprus seals deal with ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum” April 5, 2017 http://in-cyprus.com/cyprus-set-to-sign-eez-energy-contracts. With support from the EU, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Israel announced plans to move forward with the longest undersea gas pipeline ever built: from the eastern Med to southern Europe. In March, Cyprus approved contracts with Total, Eni, Exxon Mobil and Qatar petroleum for offshore oil blocks south of Cyprus.

A summary of the situation from last August. Emphasis our own.

US Congressional Research Service: “Natural Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean” Michael Ratner Acting Section Research Manager August 15, 2016 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R44591.pdf

Tamar Noble EIA: https://www3.opic.gov/Environment/EIA/nobletamar/Condensed_Part_1_2015_Tamar_Lease_Development_EIA.pdf

Summary: H.R.5066 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Introduced in House (04/26/2016)
United States-Israel Maritime Security Partnership Act of 2016
This bill authorizes the President to provide assistance to Israel to protect Israel’s coastline and natural gas fields located in its exclusive economic zone.
Activities that may be supported by such assistance include:
* procurement and sustainment of the David’s Sling Weapon System,
* payment of incremental expenses incurred by Israel resulting from participation in a bilateral or multilateral military exercise of the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard,
* conduct of increased U.S. naval vessel visits at Israeli ports, and
* conduct of joint research and development for advanced maritime domain awareness capabilities.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5066 (Those sponsoring the bill can be found at the link).

2013: Regulator allows Leviathan gas export talks
The Antitrust Authority has allowed talks for gas exports to Turkey, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority
” (and more): https://build.export.gov/build/groups/public/@eg_il/documents/webcontent/eg_il_082077.pdf