HOUSTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Natural gas off the Israeli coast could help stabilize the relationship with its neighbors in the Middle East, an Israeli official said in Houston.
Israel gets about 40 percent of its electricity needs met through natural gas reserves. The country has faced difficulties given attacks in the last year on a natural gas pipeline from Egypt, however.
Israeli Prime Minister of Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau suggested natural gas, however, could be a stabilizing factor in the region.
"While we do not always like each other, we are still neighbors," he was quoted by energy reporting Web site Rigzone as saying.
Noble Energy, which has headquarters in Houston, said in February there was an estimated 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Israel's offshore Tanin prospect, about 13 miles from the Tamar natural gas field.
The Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields contribute to what the U.S. Geological Survey estimates to be more than 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves off Israel's coast.
"If Moses were to take (the Israelites) out of Egypt today and to Israel, he would have described Israel as a land of milk, honey and natural gas," Landau said.