|Israel, Cyprus gas find spurs Mediterranean race|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 20 April 2012 13:51|
The recent discoveries of vast deposits of natural gas off the coast of northern Israel are threatening to destabilize the Middle East as governments compete for the rights to grant licences for exploratory drilling.
Back in 2009 Nobel Energy announced their largest ever find of natural gas, just 90 kilometres off the coast of Haifa. Around 16 trillion cubic feet of gas was discovered in the 'Leviathan' field, which lies within Israel's territorial waters. An additional 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas was found in the 'Tamar' field, enough to meet Israel's energy requirements for the next 100 years. The company estimates that the Levant basin, the trench joining Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus, could contain as much as 300 trillion cubic feet of gas, which would transform Israel from being dependent on gas imports into one of the world's major energy exporters. But border disputes between Israel and Lebanon, as well as between Cyprus and Turkey, are threatening that prospect.
Quote: “Lebanon and Israel have no defined maritime border, while Turkey doesn’t recognize the Greek Cypriot-led government of the Republic of Cyprus and relations with Israel have soured since Turkish activists died on a Gaza-bound flotilla two years ago. Tensions boiled over when Turkey sent an exploration vessel accompanied by warships and jets to stop Cyprus drilling for oil and gas last year. “The sides are implacably opposed, whether it’s northern and southern Cyprus, whether it’s Turkey and Cyprus, whether it’s Israel and Lebanon,” said Gurdon at Menas, which advises Exxon Mobil Corp., BP and Chevron Corp. among others. “In the end, people want to determine where the territory starts and stops.”
The IDF are already stepping up their security in the Mediterranean Sea in response to the finds. They are also considering fitting the gas exploration rigs with radar and anti-missile defence systems. During the Second Lebanon War, an Israeli warship stationed off the coast of Lebanon was struck with a Chinese-manufactured anti-ship missile, thought to have been smuggled into the country through Iran and Syria. Israel fears that Hizbullah, and other terrorist organizations backed by Iran, could target the rigs if they are provided with sufficiently advanced weaponry.
Quote: “The navy is particularly concerned about Syria’s recent purchase of the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile, which could be transferred to Hezbollah and used to target the gas rigs. Syria already tested the Yakhont in recent manoeuvres. The weapon is said to be a sophisticated missile with a range of about 300 km. Last February, the navy seized an Iranian arms ship whose cargo, Israel said, was destined for Islamic Jihad. The vessel was carrying six Iranian Nasr-1 radarguided anti-ship missiles.
Israel used to rely heavily on gas imports from the likes of Egypt, but with the advent of the 'Arab spring', Israel had been finding it much more difficult to meet its growing energy requirements. Islamic terrorists have already attacked the Israeli-Egyptian pipeline that supplies Israel with gas around fourteen times since the fall of the former president Hosni Mubarak. And the IDF are expecting that trend to continue. But as we can see, end time prophecy is coming to pass. You may remember the map I produced a couple of years ago, detailing the fulfilment of some of the prophecies concerning the twelve tribes of Israel. In Deuteronomy 33:24, it says of Asher, “Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil”. It is no coincidence then that these recent discoveries of large deposits of natural gas have been found off the coast of the territory allotted to the tribe of Asher.
Another prophecy in Isaiah is also being fulfilled before our very eyes.
After the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, Isaiah states that the “abundance of the sea” shall be converted unto them. And because of the discovery of these 'treasure troves' of the sea, the “forces” of the Gentiles are now coming unto them. That word 'forces' in the Hebrew really means power, riches, substance or wealth. Today international companies are vying for the rights to drill for gas in Israel's territorial waters, and Israel stands to make a lot of money out of it. Of course, this is all in fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. For I believe that in a coming day, Israel will become the head of the nations instead of the tail, and they will lend to many nations and not borrow (Deuteronomy 15:6). But only after the builders of that nation recognize the Stone they rejected, and make Him head of the corner (Psalm 118:22). But what about you? What does the Lord Jesus Christ mean to you? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour? Or is He still rejected (Isaiah 53:3)? Does He still take the outside place in your life? He is worthy of your trust. Turn away from your sins and trust in Him for salvation today. He promises that all that come unto Him, He will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today (Acts 16:31).