Calls to transition to renewable energy

Letter to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz urging Israel to transition from natural gas to solar energy. The letter was signed by 100 scientists, including Nobel Prize winners Yisrael Aumann and Dan Shectman, and Israel Prize winners Dan Yakir and Gideon Dagan.

The government’s decision to build a new network of private natural gas-fired power plants is inconsistent with the economic trends that exist in the energy market … and does not match Israel’s international commitments on climate change and sustainable development. This decision anchors [Israel] for decades to past technologies… at the expense of creating a cleaner, cheaper and more distributed energy sector. Gas also produces a more vulnerable energy sector in the face of security risks.”  [Full letter]

Petroleum initiative connecting the Persian Gulf, Eilat and Ashkelon

Letter to Israel’s government signed by nearly 250 local and international scientists:

“This deal exposes the entire Gulf of Eilat / Aqaba, the Sinai coasts and coral reefs, as well as the Mediterranean coast and the land masses in between, to huge danger, be it from leaks, accidents or intentional sabotage, events which are just a matter of time in this volatile part of the world…One “minor” accident or sabotage on one tanker would be enough to cause a major ecological disaster, in the Mediterranean and especially in the Red Sea.”  [Full letter]

Nearshore gas platforms

Prof. Shaul Horev, Former Navy Chief and Head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Committee, and Mr. Nir Zarchi, Haifa Maritime Research Center

“An attack on the nearshore platform will endanger Israel’s national security, dumping hazardous materials into the sea and shutting down Israel’s desalination plants. The electricity system will also be jeopardized, as the power stations require seawater for ongoing operation.”

 “An attack to a nearshore platform will pose serious concerns to human life, particularly if an FSO condensate-containing tanker is placed alongside the processing platform, as appearing in the (Tamah 37H) plan.”

Israeli energy pipeline hit in Gaza rocket attack

Prof. Rick Steiner, Marine Conservationist and Oil and Gas Spill Expert

“The [Leviathan project] documents fail to account for the many ways in which a complex system such as a deep-water gas project can fail, causing a low probability/high consequence event such as a major gas/condensate well blowout or pipeline release. In the post Deepwater Horizon understanding of deep-water drilling risks, this is unacceptable.”  [Full report]

Dr. Israel Barzilai, Former Head of the Ministry of Environment’s Hazardous Substances Department

“In England, the standards for condensate piping apply the utmost precaution, requiring a distance of 180 meters (196 yards) between condensate and gas pipelines. The ]Leviathan Project[ plan calls for a scandalous distance of only 1.40 meters (1.53 yards) between the pipes for condensate, gas, an old gas pipe and a future (additional) gas line.

“A gas explosion at the DVS receiving plant planned for Dor Beach, will create a fiery fuel cloud of between 547 to 1531 yards [equivalent to the length of 4 to nearly 13 football fields], that could envelop all of the nearby Dor neighborhood and parts of Kibbutz Nachsholim.”

“One can conclude that a rupture to the natural gas pipeline, which in itself can cause devastating and entirely unacceptable damages to body and property, may also cause the condensate pipeline to rupture, severely polluting soil and groundwater sources.”  [Full Report]

Yossi Bar, Hydrogeologist

“The pipelines will pass through key hydrological and environmental hotspots, above and near springs, riverbeds, well pumps, desalination plants and nature reserves of worldwide caliber.

“The annual fresh-water accumulation in the Southern Carmel Region is estimated at 50 million-cubic-meters. Even a small-scale condensate spill, of a few meters-cubed [1mc = 264 gallons] can pollute millions of meter-cubes of water… forcing the shutdown of the water system and causing significant damage to the soil, desalination plants, nature reserves, fish farms and farmlands.”

“Extensive experience abroad has demonstrated the significant difficulties of locating pipe leaks, fixing them promptly and effectively cleaning their damages. In America, for instance, reports cite an average of 40 leaks annually, from 2010 – 2017.” [Full Report]

Prof. Einat Aharonov, Head of the Earth Sciences Dept., Hebrew University

“The pipes connecting the Tamar and Leviathan wells to their processing platforms are amongst the longest in the world, and apply a problematic technology known as tie-back. Generally used for only highly specific cases, tie-back piping presents both engineering and environmental challenges as it requires an anti-freeze agent, which causes pipe blockages and considerably increases air and sea pollution during gas processing and in case of a spill.”

“Many people don’t know that according to the Tamah [gas plan], the Leviathan will also feature a floating tanker, permitted to contain 100,000 barrels of condensate. A spill in this case would be a game-over scenario.” [Full Report]

Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham, Geologist, Recipient of the 2003 Israel Prize

“In relation to all of Israel’s seabed region, there are, as stated, several regions with severe geological instability. One of these regions is the Dor Disturbance – located between 6 to 15.5 miles west of Dor Beach (and including the area planned for the Leviathan Platform). In these areas, it is suggested NOT to position facilities requiring ground stability.

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