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Energy Industry Turning Eye Toward Israel

December 27, 1995

HOUSTON (AP) _ A handful of energy companies, most hoping to get a jump on the natural gas market in peaceful times, are turning an eye toward Israel.

Houston-based Enron Corp. is evaluating possible sites for a $300 million plant that would process liquefied natural gas transported to Israel and Jordan from Qatar on the Persian Gulf.

Chicago’s Amoco Corp., meanwhile, teamed up last week with Israel’s largest petroleum marketer to look for opportunities to transport and sell natural gas imported from Egypt.

And a group involving Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada Pipelines is considering building an undersea pipeline to transport gas from Russia south to Turkey, then to Israel.

With peace prospects widening in the region, Israel has been able to turn to its once hostile, energy-rich neighbors for fuel.

``We haven’t had access to natural gas until now,″ said Gerry Stoch, Israel’s consul for economic affairs for the Southwest. ``We’re very much interested in doing it because of the (benefits) of natural gas as opposed to coal or oil.″

With the country’s electric power needs expected to double by 2005, the Israelis are eager to use cleaner-burning natural gas, said Mark Klingseisen, director of natural gas business development at Amoco’s Cairo office.

Israeli has hardly any indigenous fuels and has imported oil and coal from South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and the United States, Klingseisen said.

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