Sunday, January 11, 2009

Natural Gas drilling by BP off-shore at Gaza

Well peeps, I was 'wrong'. Well, wrong about this particular Israel-Gaza war. With all these casualties, this is a full blown war. This cannot even be considered an 'exchange' as it's so lopsided's lopsided for a reason.

This particular Gaza invasion came about due to there being gas fields off-shore Gaza. And well, most of us 'truth seekers', unfortunately mostly progressives and libertarians know that all these (US/Isreal/Russia, future China?) war on 'this and that' abroad is always about a resource of sorts. One could say in political science terms that these days, you need to look at it from a political economy perspective. History helps too though. It's still a great predictor. Israel has been very aggressively pushing away the Palestinians off their lands ever since the state was formed (water AND land being the main reason, nicely cloaked in religious terms and using antagonism to provoke and cause reactions) this time, it is all about the off-shore gas fields. Naturally, they'd stood to benefit Gaza but naturally...can't have that.

Excerpt from Michel Chossudovsky's War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields:

"The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007).

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine's gas reserves could be much larger.

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza's gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza's offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine's sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that "Israel would never buy gas from Palestine" intimating that Gaza's offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza's offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003)

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2006, British Gas "was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt." (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority." The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority: Read the rest".

Like the US' pursuit of oil abroad, setting up situations for justification to go to war, likewise, Israel has done the same. Hamas came legally into government, however, the Israeli government had no intention of working with them because of all what they needed to give up; claims to land, water, and now, gas. When one has the upper hand politically (being protected by the US by way of military aid and vetoes in the UN) and militarily, one doesn't need to be very compromising right? Right.

And so the Energy geopolitics continue. Be sure to read the rest of the article. And get out your world atlas and check out some maps. It's time to 'see' how the Middle East/Georgia area fits together.

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Blogger HelenWheels said...

Ingrid, most EXCELLENT post, and intriguing angle on this horrifying conflict.

Thanks so much, this is good to know. You certainly did your homework!!

12:08 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...


I must confess that this gas angle didn't remotely touch my thinking neurons (or my grey cells.) This is phenomenal.

Thank you for such an enlightening post.

But of course, it makes sense! As you aptly said, resources, follow the resources trail.

It will do well for progressive American blogs to pounce on this and expose this relentlessly.

Simply amazing and gobsmacking in the extreme.

1:57 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

[...] Israel's war on Gaza: Follow the gas trail[...]

Ingrid (shown) of Blogger Round Table, a fellow European who is currently Texas based, has a most enlightening and extraordinary post that could provide us with the true reason behind Israel's murderous rampage in Gaza.

Well, the appalling parcels of truth seem to be falling in place: Follow the gas trail! That's what this war seems to be all about. But of course, we know that Israel would not give Gaza or that strip of Palestinian land the light of day if there was nothing in that strip of land for them. Follow the gas trail!

The despicable ambitions of Israel must be stopped. Thank you, Ingrid for bringing this to the attention of bloggers.

3:32 PM  
Blogger lindsaylobe said...

Hi Ingrid
Congratulations on posting about this important aspect and I don’t think I could add much to your post.

It's indeed a sorry state of affairs given that the year 2000 Gas discovery within Palestinian waters would have resulted in a very large windfall for the Palestinian people, who are in such desperate need of improved infrastructure and facilities to establish a more economically viable Palestinian state.

Israel has effectively blocked any development of the fields since they were first discovered 8 years ago,arguing any proceeds would be used to fund more sophisticated terror attacks against her.

Hence mistrust and hatred continues to underwrite the intractable nature of this war, its futility and its final result of many innocent people from both sides (recently over 800 killed in Gaza) continuing to suffer.

Best wishes

9:15 PM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

All right Ingrid!
I just noticed my response to you was deemed unreturnable again so I will just leave it here where it does belong!
Ingrid you ticket
You had me nervous there for a second! We often do the same thing as we share like concerns. I posted this yesterday or the other day amongst a dozen other things as I never thought of the energy angle and after I had it rebutted be Israeli's who say they have their own and if you look at the pipeline and energy map of the area they are right! I still believe we attacked Iraq to get in the middle east to help them with the safety buffer they wanted to make for Israel and to help them with the new middle east order.
I posted more there today. Anyway you might want to check this out. It is worldwide citizen media and I have border Explorer there. It is great check it out. Take care! Jim

7:24 AM  
Blogger fjb said...

Excellent post! Thank-you so much and I'll post a link to you, as well as to the article. Again, excellent.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

This is very interesting, I didn't know this and it makes a whole lot of sense now.

Came here from Maria's - to wish you a happy birthday! - and now am going to add you to my blogroll as well!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I hear the word WAR I first think of THEFT.

Thanks for the info now we all know who is behind all of that my Guess is the LIKUD PARTY and the NEO-CONS.

The FAT CATS are on the prowl again.

oil and gas 25 years semi-retired
Eagle Pass TX.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your Blog

Your Articles are looking good


1:59 AM  

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