Analysis: An Israel-Turkey-Hamas rapprochement?

The long-awaited approval of the natural gas deal by the Israeli government has the potential of turning Israel into a major energy exporter and therefore into a different kind of geopolitical player. This change is already being felt vis-à-vis a former regional ally-turned-challenger: Turkey.


In September 2014, the owners of the Leviathan gas field (Noble Energy and the Delek Group) signed an agreement with Jordan’s national electric company (NEPCO) for the export of 45 BCM (billion cubic meters) of natural gas over 15 years. In June 2015, Noble Energy and Delek signed a letter of intent with British Gas to provide 105 BCM of natural gas to the British Gas LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant in Idku, Egypt, for 15 years.


Turkey, too, is interested in Israel’s natural gas. The CEO of the Turkish energy company Turcas, Batu Aksoy, recently declared: “We can still create a win-win opportunity here. There are large quantities of gas there [in Israel], and they [the Israelis] want to supply gas to Egypt and Turkey.” Turcas added that “if they [the Israelis] supply Turkey with 8-10 BCM a year and sign a 20-year gas agreement, this will meet Turkey’s needs.” In other words, Israel can meet Turkey’s natural gas needs, and Turkey sounds interested in becoming a major customer.


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