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Israel looking for new gas supplies

JERUSALEM, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Ongoing unrest in the Middle East means Israel should look for alternative supplies of natural gas, analysts said.

The supply of natural gas from Egypt to Israel was suspended in early February when an explosion damaged a gas pipeline.

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Israel gets enough gas from Egypt through a pipeline from el-Arish to Ashkelon to meet 20 percent of its electricity needs.

Former energy consultants to the Israeli government said that unless a new Cairo government turns against Israel, gas supplies should be fine, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Others expressed doubt that Egyptian supplies would return to normal.

"The current delays are very troubling and could be indicative of where supply is headed," Delphi Global Analysis Group founder David Wurmser told the Post. "I have my doubts that the gas supply will resume properly."

All sides agreed, however, that liquefied natural gas development and exploitation of two giant gas fields in Israel could allay future concerns.

Israel had depended on Egypt and other regional energy giants for natural gas, though analysts said the Leviathan field and 2009's gas find at the Tamar field changes the game for Israel.

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