Egypt Did Deal With Israel To Sell Natural Gas At Below Cost Price
Egypt Did Deal With Israel To Sell Natural Gas At Below Cost Price
They know what lies in the offshore waters of Gaza and they want to steal it!!
I keep asking myself could Britain have changed the course of the Arab Spring, especially in such places as Egypt? What was our ex Prime Minister, Tony Blair doing in Israel some years ago and could he have helped Egypt in its current demise and resolved the absolute poverty in Gaza?
We would have to turn back the clock to the days of British Gas’s involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean, what they discovered, what Israel wanted to do with the find and how Israel in its greed denied Gaza (Palestine) to bring ashore its own natural gas and benefit from the wealth that one normally associated with such a huge find.
I would also point out the relationship between these massive fields of gas and the reason for Israel going in to Gaza during “Operation Cast Lead.”……you will be shocked to know the result of my research and analysis.
Lets first look at the Israel pipeline system that receives the bulk of its natural gas from Egypt. The delivery sub sea pipeline starts at the port of El Arish and then carefully negotiates outside of the 12 mile limit off Gaza but it my opinion this may not be the case and there could well be a claim from Gaza for transit fees to be paid to the Palestinians.
The gas is then delivered to the Port of Ashqelon and then onto the Port of Ashdod.
You will also note that another sub sea pipeline comes from Israel’s only offshore production platform (the Mari B) which has been pumping natural gas to Israel for some considerable time now……I will come back to this later.
What I find incredible is that the main feeder pipeline that provide energy to a vast region of Israel runs offshore, parallel to the shoreline……….one would assume this would be a perfect target for anyone wishing to create havoc to the Israeli economy!!
The second map shows Israels offshore permit blocks were extensive exploration is currently taking place with some very lucrative finds so far…….however my concern is on two fronts.
The northern find in the Tamar Block is very close to the Lebanese sea border and the one to the south the Marni B and the Noa 1 and 2 is very close to the sea border with Gaza (Palestine)….my question would be why are the Israelis drilling right on the border……could they be up to some covert scheme of taking someone else’s gas or oil?
The maps below show the pipeline network, the second map show the location of Israels Exploration Blocks and the third one shows the more details map of the Gaza Marine 1 and 2 gas finds, which are still yet to be commissioned/commercialised.
It is my opinion that the United Nations are clearly allowing Israel to do what it wants and certainly we do not see fair justice in offshore international borders. I have found that Israel’s Mari B rig for instance is too close to the border with Gaza and the safety zone that one normally associates with oil rigs takes the zone well into Gazan Waters.
The issue I have, having worked in the oil and gas industry, marine navigation and also in having some knowledge of International Maritime Law is what was offered to Gaza (Palestine) by the Oslo Accord and what could be legally theirs if this was taken to The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS)for ratification.
There is clearly a case to answer and United Nations and Israel in my opinion are both in gross violation of International Maritime Law i.e. law of legal limits in regard to 12 mile limits, 12 mile contiguous zone and their legal claim to having their own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). When added together this would give Gaza 24 nautical miles (nm)) from the low water mark on their cost plus the additional EEZ which would have to be calculated but can in some case go out to a total of 200nm……in the case of Gaza, because the yet to be defined borders to the north and south converge, it may only be possible to get around 100nm maximum.
The other big issue I have is also the fact that Israel has enforced an additional buffer zone on both borders, thus reducing the width of Gaza’s offshore limits which in turn would reduce its EEZ.
It is important to understand this aspect of the Maritime Law when it comes to who can drill where and what determines the legal owners of any known natural gas finds. With this in mind I decide to redraw the Gaza International Maritime Border as I see it and one can clearly see that Israel could well be stealing the Palestinian resources by using a drilling technique know as “Diagonal Drilling or Slant Drilling”……this method has and is used all over the world…..it is very useful if a company wishes to drill under someone else’s border to take their oil or gas………this was the case prior to the first Gulf War when rigs were detected in Kuwait on the border with Iraq and were drilling under the border……this was one of the reasons why Saddam went into Kuwait, which most people do not know.
So lets look at the overall picture of the EEZ’s in the Eastern Mediterranean as shown below:
What is missing in this chart is an area that should be allocated to Gaza (Palestine)
What the public do not realise is that UNCLOS does have a border allocated but they call it a disputed border and it has been that way for decades.
I decided to not only show you this border but also I redraw, in a very approximate way, that disputed border……when you now look at the oil/gas field (yellow) you can clearly see that much of the explored gas/oil lies either within Gaza or staggers the border and is thus jointly owned………one has to look at it as being an undersea lake with a border going right through it. It is clear that Israel is up to no good………so below is the UN’s own map and below that is my redrawn map showing the new borders and also the Gaza 24 nm limit and the extended EEZ…….this basically means that everything within the heavy white line belongs to Gaza and the extended EEZ (red line) is also under their economic control for exploration and fishing limits etc.
The field closest to Israel is the Mari B Field and could extend under the border? The next one further out which staggers the border is the Noa field and the one totally inside the Gaza 24nm zone is Gaza Marine 1&2.
As it stands at the moment the Mari B has been in full production for many years and is pumping gas back to Ashdod in Israel but if it does extend into Gaza then this is nothing more than an act of piracy. Israel also has plans to link the Mari B to the western Noa field and bring the resources down the same pipeline……the latter is certainly an act of piracy and I believe that this many be taking place as we speak……obviously Gaza’s Marine 1 & 2 totally belongs to Gaza…….I might add that with Slant Drilling Techniques the Israel’s could also drain this reserve.
The two maps below show the two options that were made available to Israel by the company that found the Gaza Marine Reserves, British Gas. You will not that the shortest route and the most economical approach to this field is to pipe it directly into the Gaza Strip but as we all know this is never going to happen because Israel has blocked it!!
This Israeli map shows the location of Gaza’s Marine 1 & 2 (brown in colour) and clearly shows one plan of moving Gaza gas to El Arish in Egypt
This map shows the Gaza gas being piped to the Port of Ashqelon
I will now show you the truth that lies behind this deception by the UN and Israel and show you my map with the correct definition of the international borders and also the nautical chart I drew up whilst I was in Cyprus (hoping to crew a vessel to Gaza) that clearly shows the Latitude and Longitude of the Mari B which is totally illegal!!
One can now clearly see that two oil/gas fields are in the waters belonging to Gaza and the Mari B that is currently claimed by Israel (and currently pumping gas to shore) could actually just enter the borer with Gaza…….if so then Gaza can lay part claim to it!!!
My Nautical Chart showing Mari B sitting right on the border with Gaza
Part 2 of the Gaza/Israel gas discoveries will reveal the history behind this problem and the International Maritime Law that will clearly explain that Gaza (Palestine) has been well and truly short changes.
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 29/11/2011 www.eyreinternational.wordpress.com