Israel as a major oil exporter?

June 15, 2011

This could be a potential game-changer both in the Mideast and globally:

Look Out, Saudis? Israel Is Sitting On Huge Oil Shale Deposits

The World Energy Council has determined that about 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem, in the Shfela Basin, there are oil shale deposits with the potential to yield 250 billion barrels of oil. This represents the world’s third-largest quantity of oil shale behind the US and China. notes that both those countries would consume almost all their own production, so Israel could conceivably become the world’s largest exporter of shale oil.


Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves are 260 billion barrels, so we would appear to be in the running as an energy giant — particularly in view of the enormous natural gas finds at the Tamar and Leviathan fields. But there’s quite a distance yet to travel. For one thing, extracting oil from shale isn’t the same as drilling it out of the ground. It’s more difficult and more expensive.

This comes on the heels of major natural gas finds off Israel’s northern coast.

It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of these two finds for Israel, which could easily meet its own energy needs, and for the America and the West, which would love to have a major friendly supplier of oil and gas that’s both outside of OPEC (1) and not Russia. Granted, development is years off and shale oil is more expensive to extract than drilled oil, but author Judith Levy points out that an Israeli start-up company has developed a way to extract the oil for only $35-$40 per barrel, an eminently economical cost.

(In fact, it would be really keen if we could share in that technology, given the huge shale-oil reserves we possess. Good thing we have an administration that’s worked day and night to stay friends with Israel.   )

Levy provides a map that also shows major shale oil deposits under Jordan, whose generally pro-Western government has been dependent on aid from both America and Saudi Arabia. This would be a potential boon for them, too, giving them their own source of revenue and jobs, and making them less dependent on Saudi Arabian money and gas from an Egypt that’s trending toward Islamism.

Like the massive finds of shale oil in the US, these discoveries carry the possibility of a major realignment of economic power in the world. But, unlike the US until at least 2013, we can be sure the Israelis will exploit them.

via Baseball Crank


(1) Come on. Does anyone really think the Arab-dominated OPEC will let al Yahud join? Or that Israel would want to?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

The Running Man: the sequel

June 15, 2011

No, not Arnold Schwarzenegger… unless it’s from Maria’s lawyers.

Rather, the “running man” in this case according to Jim Geraghty is Barack Obama, who spent fully half of the ten years from 1998-2008 running for higher office:

2008: Barring some nefarious plot by Hillary Clinton, Obama will be running for president until November. For purposes of this exercise, we’ll count this as 11 months of campaigning.

2007: Announced exploratory committee on January 16. Formally announced presidential campaign on February 10. I’m counting all 12 months.

2006: Serving in U.S. Senate. While some would argue Obama was unofficially campaigning already, including appearing at events in Iowa, for the purposes of this calculation we will count his campaigning as starting from the announcement of the exploratory committee. 0 months.

2005: Serving in U.S. Senate. 0 months.

2004: Running for U.S. Senate; elected in November. 11 months.

2003: Running for U.S. Senate. 12 months.

Click through for the rest.

Obama  announced his reelection campaign last April, 19 months before the next election, with roughly 40% of his term remaining. And what’s he been doing since then?

Running for office isn’t just what he does best — it’s all he knows.

I hope he has good shoes.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)