The discovery of a large gas field in Egyptian waters does not mean “the end of the Israeli gas industry,” and is not an occasion for panic, believes Professor Idit Avrahami of Ariel University. Avrahami, a top academic of the university's Engineering department, told Arutz Sheva that the discovery of gas in Egypt could actually bring great benefit to Israel.
“I am not concerned by these discoveries,” she said. “Natural gas is plentiful all over the world, and a depth map study conducted ten years ago shows that there are gas deposits throughout the Mediterranean. It's just a matter of time until they can be drilled.”
While the gas find could be a positive event for the Egyptian economy, Avrahami sees the technological opportunity as much more important. “Developing countries sell their natural resources as raw material and enrich a middleman, who processes the gas and sells it for much more. The only ones in the country who get rich are oligarchs who are well-connected.”
Developed countries, meanwhile, use those resources much more intelligently, she said – and Israel, as a developed country, had the technological knowhow to help Egypt use its gas to develop its own economy and provide a better standard of living for all Egyptians, instead of just a chosen few. “As an advanced technology power, we should be able ways to make use of this gas, and thus the Egyptian find becomes a positive thing for us.
“Egypt is a poor and hungry country, and it can use help in developing its gas,” Avrahami added. “The same thing happened with water. We developed technologies that we are now supplying the world with. I am sure that when we succeed in doing something similar with gas many countries in the world will see us as partners, both because of our knowhow and the accessibility to gas.”