Israel and Jordan have signed a groundbreaking deal that will see the Jewish state provide $500 million worth of gas to the Hashemite kingdom.
The gas will come from the Tamar natural gas field on the Mediterranean and is set to begin in 2016.
The news was announced today after the two sides inked the deal marking Israel as Jordan’s largest gas supplier. The $500 million sum, which will constitute a 15-year period, has the potential to balloon to $30 billion in time.
Amos J. Hochstein, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for energy diplomacy, was a key advocate in the deal. Hochstein is the son of Israelis, and traveled to Jordan at least 14 times to help broker the deal, which will include 66 billion cubic feet of gas to the Arab Potash firm in Jordan.
“This deal will pave the way for additional export projects which could enhance regional cooperation as well as provide additional supply to the domestic market and enhanced security of supply through development of additional reservoirs and infrastructure,” said Lawson Freeman, Eastern Mediterranean vice president of Noble Energy, a Texas-based firm that owns 36 percent of the Tamar field.
Israel has made energy export a main economic goal, determining 40 percent of its gas energy stores would be segmented off for export. The Jewish state is currently in the middle of a proposed export deal with Turkey, despite frosty relations with the country.