By George Whitten, Jerusalem Bureau Chief
Israel’s discovery of the one of the world’s largest natural gas field is much larger than previously estimated, according to a new report obtained by Worthy News.
The Tamar Gas field, offshore from Haifa, is now worth $8 billion, nearly double previous estimates of local analysts, said a report prepared by Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting.
Tamar is the world’s second largest natural gas discovery over the past 18 months. Natural gas will be flowing into Israel by 2012, officials said.
Analysts say the natural gas field will have a huge impact on the economy of Israel and is expected to make the Jewish state more energy independent.
“The state of Israel will make over $5 billion in royalties and corporate taxes from the production of the gas at Tamar field alone,” said Gal Reiter, an energy industry analyst at Clal Finance & Brokerage, a leading Tel Aviv investment bank.
As infrastructure is built for bringing natural gas onshore, local economies are also expected to benefit from the billions that will be spent on a 500 kilometer (311 mile) distribution network, officials said.
Israel’s National Infrastructure Ministry (NIM) announced it is considering adapting the country’s bus fleet as well as cars to run on natural gas.
The NIM said it believes demand for natural gas “will triple” by 2016, as power plants and industry rapidly switch from oil to natural gas.