sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

April 6, 2011

Jerusalem of Black Gold

Filed under: Israel, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:55 am

Black gold is oil, of course, and Jerusalem of Gold is an Israeli song.

I’m passing on an obligatory Ofra Haza version because it’s, well, obligatory.  This is James Birkett singing Yeroushalaim Shel Zahav.

I had to do a double take:

The World Energy Council estimates Israel’s shale deposits, located some 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem, could ultimately yield as many as 250 billion barrels of oil. For purposes of comparison, Saudi Arabia has proven reserves of 260 billion barrels. The United States consumes about seven billion barrels a year.

Saudi oil reserves: 260 billion barrels, Israeli oil reserves: 250 billion barrels.  Pinch me.

Granted, it’s shale oil, but apparently Israeli shale is easier to develop then Colorado shale.  Israeli shale production is estimated to cost $34-$40 a barrel, about the same as deep water drilling.  Like I said, pinch me.  Of course there are strategic implications, among them:

Israel currently imports nearly all of its oil by tanker, mainly from Russia and the former Soviet republics. Those imports were abruptly cut off during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, which brought the country perilously close to running out of fuel. More recently, there has been talk in Egypt of raising the price on its natural-gas supplies to Israel and perhaps cutting it off entirely. Energy independence may be a chimera for the U.S. For Israel, some measure of independence is a strategic imperative.

What would Samantha Power say?

UPDATE: Linked to from Political Junkie Mom!  Many many thanks!



  1. In the words of Michael Ledeen, “Faster, Please.”

    Comment by KingShamus — April 9, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  2. This could change everything.

    Comment by Always On Watch — April 11, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  3. […] prospects are good thanks to highly educated, dynamic population and the prospect of developing natural resources.  Plus, Israeli society doesn’t have the structural problems that loom over other developed […]

    Pingback by Astroturf in Israel? « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — September 7, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

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