Sunday, April 22, 2012

Could be a long, hot (and dark) summer in Israel

It looks like Egypt's moving to cut Israel's natural gas supply, and Israel seems unprepared for the move.

The Jerusalem Post reports:
Egypt on Sunday terminated a long-term gas deal with Israel, a stakeholder said, prompting Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to express "deep concern" over what he described as a move diminishing the peace treaty between the two countries.
If the report is accurate, and supplies from Egypt can't be restored, it comes at a very bad time.

Haaretz reports Israel was already prepping for blackouts this summer, anticipating demand would outstrip generation capacity:
Last week, the Israel Electric Corporation told the stock exchange it expected demand this summer to peak at more than 99% of its generating capacity, which meant it would have to cut power at peak hours. 
The plan notes the main reason the country is expected to face power shortages this summer are the lack of natural gas - Egypt largely halted exports following the revolution there a year ago, and Israel's own Tethys Sea reserve is running dry earlier than expected; the delay in executing emergency power generation plans, and the inefficiency of producing power from diesel fuel compared to natural gas.
It now looks like that nearly halted Egyptian supply line may have just gone bone dry.

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