Israel became Jordan’s largest gas supplier Monday, when the country’s Leviathan gas consortium signed a $10 billion deal with the Hashemite Kingdom providing it with approximately 45 billion cubic meters of gas from the Leviathan gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean Coast.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz hailed the deal as a significant national achievement. Others viewed the agreement as a paradigmatic display of the reciprocal ties between Israel and Jordan.
“Mutual interdependence is becoming more and more established,” former Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Eran Lerman told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“In conjunction with the energy agreement, more work can now be accomplished on water desalinization in Aqaba and on the Israeli water supply up north,” Dr. Lerman elaborated. “It will help prevent outages and provide energy for desalination technologies to solve Jordan’s water problems.”
Dr. Lerman believes that the deal is not only a financial boon for Israel but a net benefit in terms of security because the deal will provide more stability in Jordan, thereby increasing security on Israel’s eastern border.
“Jordan’s stability and prosperity are very high on the Israeli list of priorities.” explained Dr. Lerman. “The stability and safety of our eastern border is a tremendous contribution to Israeli interests and so this is clearly a win-win proposition.”
“Jordan has been a top priority for exports from day one,” continued Dr. Lerman. “This has been a mutually beneficial relationship now for a very long period of time.”
More significantly, the agreement demonstrates for Israel its prowess as an energy exporter.
“When I served on the National Security Council (2009-2015), I was involved in making the point that our freedom to export is an issue of national security,” Dr. Lerman added. “This is clearly all for the good.”
Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu also described the agreement as being mutually beneficial for Israel and Jordan.
“Supplying natural gas to Jordan will enable our neighbors in Jordan to benefit from efficient, clean and cheap energy, just like the citizens of Israel,” Abu said according to Israel’s NRG website. “It will contribute to the prosperity of Israel and Jordan and will strengthen ties and active partnerships between the two.”
Delek and US Noble energy comprise the energy consortium over the Leviathan gas field, which is estimated to contain some 535 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Discovered in 2010, Leviathan is scheduled to become operational in 2019.