Canada, Israel discuss energy ties

May 2, 2013 at 6:27 AM

JERUSALEM, May 2 (UPI) -- Israeli oil shale deposits are similar to those in Canada, presenting a unique opportunity for bilateral work, the Canadian oil minister said.

Canadian Oil Minister Joe Oliver met with Israeli Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom to discuss energy cooperation.

"Israel's current state of oil shale resource development has similarities to the early days of Canada's oil sands and we are pleased to share Canada's experiences with respect to policy and regulation," Oliver said in a statement.

Canada is one of the world leaders in terms of oil reserves. It relies on the United States almost exclusively as an export market.

"Canada and Israel have a mutually beneficial opportunity to deepen our bilateral energy cooperation. In particular, Israel's recent discoveries of significant offshore gas provide the basis for further collaboration," Oliver said. "It is my hope that this visit results in new partnerships between our two countries."

Israel is examining the possibility of becoming a natural gas exporter based in part on the reserve estimates from the offshore Leviathan field. Shalom told Bloomberg News in that updated estimates from the field increase export opportunities.

A report from Dutch consultant group Sewell and Associates Inc. said Leviathan holds about 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That's about 5 percent more than previous estimates.

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