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November 19, 2015 10:14 am

Momentum Building for Texas-Israel Gas and Oil Cooperation

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University of Houston Chancellor and President Rhenu Khator (left) speaks at an Oct. 20 event in Houston that featured Yuval Steinitz (center), Israel's minister of infrastructure, energy, and water. Photo: Israel Trade & Economic Office U.S. Southern Region.

University of Houston Chancellor and President Rhenu Khator (left) speaks at an Oct. 20 event in Houston that featured Yuval Steinitz (center), Israel’s minister of infrastructure, energy, and water. Photo: Israel Trade & Economic Office U.S. Southern Region.

JNS.org – Momentum is building for increased partnership between Israel and oil and gas companies in Texas, said an official from America’s Lone Star State.

“We’re trying to get Texas companies interested in the oil and gas opportunities here in Israel — not just the major E&P (exploration and production) companies, but all the supporting companies, all the services it takes to run an oil and gas industry,” Clare Freeman, president and CEO of the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday at the Universal Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition in Tel Aviv.

Freeman explained that because gas rig support services are in short supply in Israel, there could be more opportunities to partner in areas such as shipping broken parts to Texas for repair.

Houston-based Noble Energy already partners with the Israeli company Delek Group in the operation of Israel’s offshore gas fields, Tamar and Leviathan. Freeman said Noble is the ideal type of company that Israel should look to partner with because many other large companies already have relationships with Arab countries.

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Freeman’s comments come after Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz recently visited Houston, the so-called “energy capital of the world,” for a series of meetings pertaining to the energy and water industries. Michal Niddam-Wachsman, head of the Israeli government’s Houston-based Economic Mission in the U.S. Southern Region, told JNS.org earlier this month that Israel is looking for “several other Nobles” to partner with in the oil and gas space, and that Steinitz’s visit “means that we as a government want to give motivation to the local companies to invest in Israel.”

The recent resignation of Israeli Economy Minister Aryeh Deri, meanwhile, paved the way for an offshore gas deal that resolves a pricing dispute in which former Israeli antitrust commissioner David Gilo had threatened to designate the Delek-Noble partnership as a monopoly.

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