On June 25, the U.S. Department of Energy and Israeli Ministry of Energy formally agreed to establish the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology, ushering in a new era of cooperative energy research and development. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Israeli Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz signed the agreement at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The agreement finalized a multiyear effort to establish the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence, which was originally authorized by the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014.
In October, the partners leading the production of Israel’s Tamar gas field signed a new agreement to provide gas to two Jordanian companies: Jordan Bromine Company and Arab Potash Company. Valued at $200 million, the non-binding deal will go into effect in the first quarter of 2019 and can potentially continue until the end of 2032. The agreement is for up to 1 billion cubic meters (BCM). Israeli natural gas is a good alternative for Jordan, which has no energy resources itself.
On Nov. 24, Greece, Italy and Cyprus struck up a preliminary agreement with Israel to construct an underwater pipeline that would supply gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The world’s deepest and longest underwater gas pipeline is expected to cost more than $7 billion, connecting Israel’s gas reserves to the three European nations, helping the continent diversify its energy resources. “The agreement that we have drawn up will enable Israel to become an energy supplier to Europe, and that has both economic and political importance. This will be the first time ever that Israel has joined with the EU on any major infrastructure project,” said Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. The final deal should be signed in February 2019.
On Sept. 19, Egypt and Cyprus reached an agreement to create an underwater pipeline between the two nations. The deal—which would see Cypriot natural gas transferred to Egypt from where it could be re-exported—has raised speculation that Israel's Leviathan field might eventually be included in the plan. Leviathan is only 30 km (18.6 miles) away from Cyprus's Aphrodite, and Israel’s Delek and U.S.-based Noble Energy together hold a majority stake in both gas fields. Moreover, Israel’s Leviathan recently reached an agreement to supply Egypt's Dolphinus with $15 billion of natural gas over a 10-year period.
Three major companies in the self-driving-car business announced that for the first time Level 4 autonomous vehicles could be deployed for ride-sharing in Israel as early as 2019, Israel21c reported on Nov. 11. Volkswagen Group, Intel subsidiary Mobileye and Champion Motors announced the proposal, which was accepted, during the Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv. Tests for the new venture will begin in early 2019 with full commercialization by 2022. “We firmly believe that self-driving electric vehicles will offer Israel and cities around the world safe, clean and emission-free mobility, which is accessible and convenient,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group.
Type: Energy Matters