JERUSALEM, March 20 (UPI) -- If Israel doesn't work to become a natural gas exporter, it won't attract the necessary investors, an energy company executive said.
Yitzhak Tshuva, a majority shareholder in the Delek Group, told delegates at an Israeli energy conference that the country needed about $15 billion worth of export infrastructure.
"Gas exports will generate huge revenues for the government, create jobs and strengthen the country's geopolitical situation," he was quoted by the Platts news service as saying. "Without exports it is doubtful whether additional players will enter the exploration market."
Delek is working with Noble Energy at that offshore Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields. Noble last week secured an $18 billion deal with Israeli Electric Corp. IEC is expected to purchase around 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for Israeli electricity generation.
Israeli officials were quoted in The Jerusalem Post as saying export plans should come after the country is confident about domestic supplies.
"The state of Israel is not a gas superpower," said Israeli Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau. "There is a possibility for export, but we cannot compete with giants in the energy economy."