Jul 9, 2012

Stretched Navy

David DolanBy David Dolan

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Israeli energy experts are busy drawing up plans to tap into huge natural gas deposits that were discovered off of the northern coast of Haifa a couple years ago.

Government officials say the vast underwater deposits are more than enough to supply all of Israel’s natural gas needs for several decades. They should also allow for some exports that will help buttress the country’s economy.

Israeli gas platform

Protecting Israel's Natural Gas Platforms

However, Israeli naval officers are quietly warning that it will be very difficult to guard offshore rigs that will be installed to tap into the massive natural gas field. Noting that the field is located 80 miles west of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline, they worry that terrorists from Lebanon or elsewhere might attempt to destroy the rigs.

Already Turkey has laid claim to some of the gas deposits since the underwater field stretches into the territorial waters of Cyprus. Turkish military forces have occupied northern Cyprus since 1974.

Israeli naval vessels are already busy patrolling another natural gas field off of Israel’s southern coast. Between the two fields, the area they will need to protect is around nine thousand square miles.