Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

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Supporting Israel’s Growing Energy Sector

November 25, 2013

Karen Kelich is a Social Media Administrator at the International Trade Administration’s office at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Natural gas workers work on equipment. Recent natural gas discoveries in Israel could help the country become an energy exporter.

Recent natural gas discoveries in Israel could help the country become an energy exporter.

The State of Israel, once an energy-scarce nation among the Middle Eastern oil giants, is on the brink of a historic shift. The implications of the 2009 discovery of the Tamar natural gas field, along with the much larger Leviathan field discovery in 2010, are such that Israel now faces a future as an energy producer in its own right with the potential to become an exporter.

The workforce needed to build this industry is substantial. A wide range of professionals, from legal and commercial to technical and scientific, is required for sustainable industry development. That means job creation and economic benefits for the country as a whole.

It also presents an excellent opportunity for U.S. businesses with experience in the energy industry.

The International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service, in partnership with Tierra Majors and Ustudy Global, and in collaboration with the Australian Trade Commission and other interested stakeholders, is organizing a first-of-its-kind Skills Training Needs for Israel’s Gas Industry Conference, on Feb. 25, 2014.

This will bring the best and brightest in natural gas skills training to support Israel’s entry into the industry. Representatives of American companies can register for the event, potentially making connections and learning about future export opportunities. No nation can provide more experience and expertise to support Israel as its natural gas industry develops.

We’ve also invited a number of academics from the leading petroleum engineering programs in the United States to participate in the event. Engineering is the second most common subject foreign students study in the United States, and we hope to attract some aspiring engineers to American universities for their studies. This helps support another important American export sector.

As American companies participate in Israel’s natural gas energy movement, we know they can help Israel to safely and effectively take advantage of its natural resources. That not only helps support American exports, it also supports the Israeli economy. It creates jobs, furthers education, and supports growth.

It deepens the relationship between the United States and one of its strongest allies.

This conference will create excellent opportunities for Israeli companies, regulators and educational institutions to learn about the skills necessary to work in this exciting industry and for international training providers to market their services to a dynamic new market. We look forward to supporting the even, and we are excited to see how it furthers the American commercial relationship with our Middle Eastern friend.

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An Energy Revolution for Israel

November 9, 2012

David McCormack is an International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit.

The Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel business delegation.

The Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel business delegation.

Led by the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce Ken Hyatt, the U.S. Commerce Department Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel introduced 13 companies and 2 universities to the growing oil and gas industry in Israel. The participating organizations included two premier U.S. universities – The University of Texas, Austin and Texas A&M University, Kingsville.  Other Delegates included leaders in oil field services, logistics, consulting, data integration, consulting, and manufacturing.

The mission built on excellent trade relations between the countries, including America’s first ever Free Trade Agreement, signed by the U.S. and Israel in 1985.  More recently, U.S. Senator, Mary Landrieu brought the first ever oil and gas Certified Trade Mission to Israel in 2011, and the Government of Israel sent an inter-ministerial delegation to the U.S., earlier this year to see extensive energy development firsthand. Finally, on October 24, the US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) met in Washington, chaired by U.S. Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, and Israeli Treasury Director-General Doron Cohen.  A main topic of discussion was enhanced U.S.-Israel cooperation for natural gas development.  As the JEDG signed an agreement that will extend U.S. loan guarantees of $3.8 billion to Israel to 2016, the trade mission to Israel departed for Tel Aviv to explore the histroric opportunities to help build Israel’s new energy economy.

According to a 2010 United States Geological Survey (USGS) assessment, the Eastern Mediterranean contains approximately 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, with a current market value of $240 billion. Industry representatives also report that they expect to discover oil in these offshore fields.  Finally, exploration efforts are also ongoing onshore Israel, creating opportunities for manufacturing, drilling, pipeline installation, etc.  Without a developed infrastructure to produce enough of their own energy domestically, Israel has historically been an energy importer. This will not always be the case, and many have recognized that these recent developments represent an energy revolution.  Many expect Israel to become a net energy exporter, but right now, extensive infrastructure and devlopment is needed.  U.S. companies are ready to deliver.

Hosted in Israel by Senior Commercial Officer Maria Andrews, the trade mission delegates attended the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention (IEBC), conducted site visits, attended receptions, participated in a roundtable discussion with Israel’s oil and gas industry, and participated in more than 100 customized business meetings.  The official program began at the IEBC, where Hyatt delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, and the U.S delegation was warmly received.

At the roundtable discussion hosted by Hyatt, Senator Mary Landrieu, and the Chair of Israel’s oil and gas association, Uri Aldubi, the delegation received presentations from Noble Energy, Zion Oil, and Genie Energy.  Noble briefed the delegation on their discoveries of around 30 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore Israel, and their future hopes for more gas, as well as oil, discoveries.  Zion, the largest onshore petroleum exploration leaseholder in Israel, spoke about how to do business in Israel, as a U.S. company, and their optimistic outlook towards Israel’s onshore potential.  Finally, Harold Vinegar, from Genie Energy, shared his vision for the development of oil shale in Israel.  Vinegar, formerly a Chief Scientist at Shell, stunned the crowd with his estimate of 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Israel’s shale deposits.  That evening, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, hosted the delegation at his residence for an exclusive networking reception with the leaders of Israel’s new energy economy.

Thanks to the efforts of the Commercial Service in Tel Aviv, the delegation received a rare and intimate tour of the port of Ashdod, and discussed opportunities in pipeline installation and logistics with port authorities.  Keeping a full schedule, they also attended government meetings in Jerusalem, and a high-level presentation and networking session, with industry and government leaders, hosted by the Herzliya Conference, and the Law Firm of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, a CS Strategic Partner.

While in Israel, Hyatt met with several key government offices, including the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Trade, and the Office of the Prime Minister

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu highlighted the opportunities for academic cooperation between the U.S. and Israel.  There are almost no Israeli born petroleum engineers still in Israel.  Universities in the Gulf states represent the best programs in petroleum and gas engineering, and specialized energy MBA’s in the world.  The 2011 and 2012 Oil and Gas Trade Missions to Israel are laying the groundwork for Israel’s energy industry by bringing advanced petroleum and gas engineering programs to Israel.

The delegates completed the mission feeling optimistic about the commercial opportunities in this sector.  The companies realize that doing business in Israel is often a long-term proposition and this will be the first of hopefully many visits to Israel that the companies will make.  The U.S. Commercial Service and our Strategic Partners are standing by to assist U.S. firms in accessing the historic opportunities represented by Israel’s energy revolution.

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Connecticut Trade Mission Finds Success in Israel

April 8, 2010

Jim Cramer is the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.  He and his colleagues promote U.S. exports to the Israeli and Palestinian economies, with particular emphasis on small and medium sized American companies.

First full day of the Trade Mission already generates returns

What a day.  We kept Congressman Joe Courtney and the entire delegation running at full speed.  At 8 a.m. sharp, Joe and a handful of Connecticut defense companies went to the Israeli Ministry of Defense for a meeting to promote their products.  Connecticut’s high tech defense sector is a perfect match for Israel’s security needs.

While Joe and the group were busy at the Ministry, our other delegates started their jam-packed Gold Key schedules.  Getting these schedules organized was a lot of work, but we had great help.  Anne Evans, Melissa Grosso and the entire team from the Middletown U.S. Export Assistance Center were fantastic.  The Commercial Service Israel understands how to do business in Israel, and Anne and Melissa know the needs and challenges facing Connecticut’s exporters.  Working together we really arranged some amazing schedules that targeted in on specific client needs.  Great job Anne & Melissa!

Congressman Courtney kept running all day.  Following his morning meeting he was interviewed for a Connecticut radio show and had lunch with 2 of Israel’s top entrepreneurs.  While Connecticut and Israel may both lack natural resources, each makes up for it through smarts and entrepreneurial spirit, so today’s lunch was a perfect fit.  Joe rejoined many of the delegates after lunch for a briefing on opportunities in Israel’s security and medical sectors put on by our partner, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

All of these activities were great, but what we are really about is returns.  And today we heard that one of the delegates may have made a multi-container sale to an Israeli distributor.  Some final negotiations are going on tomorrow, and I don’t want to jinx it, but I feel great about accomplishing something like this in such a short period.

I followed up with a lot of the delegates during tonight’s fantastic networking event at the Ambassador’s residence.  One delegate whose schedule was managed by our senior specialist Irit van der Veur couldn’t believe how perfectly tailored his meetings were.  Another thanked me over and over again for the help CS Israel had provided, and a third company couldn’t stop complementing the work Christina Azar in our office did for them.  What a team!

Everyone seemed exhausted and exhilarated from what they were able to accomplish during this first day of meetings.  I can’t wait to see them at dinner tonight to hear about the success they’ll find today!

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