Friday, September 28, 2012

Gas And Oil Wars Looming? Israeli Discoveries May Threaten Russia

This is a fascinating article from Israel Today - actually its parts 3 and 4 to a series covering Israel's recent gas and oil discoveries which have been huge, to say the least. So huge, in fact, it will make Israel independent for energy needs for decades to come and will include the ability to export such to Europe. 

That is where the problem arises. Russia has had plans for dominance in terms of exporting gas and oil to to Europe but Israel's recent finds is posing difficulty for Russia. Given the upcoming war of "Gog-MaGog" this development takes additional interest,. 

For background information see parts 1 and 2:

These are the final two parts of a four-part series on Israel's difficulties in developing its new-found natural resources. If you have not done so already, we recommend first reading The Battle over Israel’s Newfound Riches - Part I and The Battle over Israel’s Newfound Riches - Part II
Israeli officials' fears over Russian involvement in the Jewish state's booming natural gas and oil industry are not unfounded. 

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom is facing serious allegations of anti-trust behavior with the European Commission investigating whether the company has been unfairly exploiting its dominant status, harming the free flow of gas to the EU. One example of such misconduct occurred in winter 2008-2009 when Russia cut off all gas supply to Ukraine amid disputes over transit fees and gas costs. The move left several EU member states with no energy in the midst of a bitter cold snap, prompting European leaders to reconsider their dependency on Russia’s energy and look for alternative suppliers. 

Nevertheless, their attempts didn’t bear fruit, as Russia geared up the construction of the so-called Nord Stream, a pipeline that enters directly into Germany, making energy-starving Europe dependent on Gazprom even more.

Now we get to the situation between Russia and Israel:

Now that Jerusalem is mulling over exports that could meet Europe’s demand for the next 18 years, Russia fears loosening its grip over the European market and prefers to cooperate with the Jewish state to block Europe from all directions. 

At the same time, the experts conceded that had Gazprom acquired access to Israel’s fields, it would boost cooperation between the two countries. Maryasis agreed, stressing that “ties between Jerusalem and Moscow are already excellent but they could be taken to a whole new level if such project was implemented”. 

Israel is also said to benefit from such an alliance. As the two countries jointly developing resources off Israel’s shores, belligerents, who have been trying to sabotage Israel’s drilling rigs, will now have to think twice before an assault that could provoke Russia’s ire. Additionally, the project might also help Moscow to diversify its clients by using Israeli gas and redirecting it to Middle Eastern or Asian markets (like the one in Japan, currently facing serious shortages following the Fukushima nuclear disaster). 

Yet, Gazprom’s accession to the Israeli market won’t be easy. “Given the fact that there are elements inside Israel that lobby to block Gazprom’s entrance, Russia will have to come up with solid suggestions that would buy the concession of Jerusalem,” said Zvi Magen, a pundit specializing in Russia’s foreign policy at the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS), charging that Moscow would try to sweet talk Jerusalem into a political alliance. 

The security issue is also on the agenda. No matter how Israel is going to export its energy, be it through a pipeline (going via the hostile Turkey or the economically crippled Greece) or a floating LNG plant (the size of several aircraft carriers), these facilities will be difficult to protect, forcing the Jewish state to spend millions of dollars on various security measures.  

Whether Israel’s gas will ever reach foreign markets and the exact size of the country’s alleged reserves are still very much an open question. Experts warn that discoveries make sense only if they are converted to production capacity, so any potential partner, including Russia, will need to watch the related developments closely.

The point seems relatively simple. Russia wants some of this gas/oil action and certainly doesn't need any threats to their exporting dominance. In fact, they appear to be worried enough to be making overtures to Israel for a possible agreement. 

So what happens if they can't forge an agreement with Israel and Israel's gas/oil exports begin to threaten Russia exports to Europe? 

This scenario certainly gives us some food for thought doesn't it? 


JD Siegel said...

Yup. Ez. 38:11-21. A clean set up. Make oil and gas treaties with Israel, to "disarm", to "Unwall" them, leave without bars or gates. Go in and TAKE. No brainer to me.

Laura said...

Or what if they DO forge an agreement and Russia decides to cut out the middle man?

Mrs.C said...

Respectfully, Ezekiel 38 is not referring to "oil" or "gas" as the motive for Russia/Gog to attack/invade Israel. It will be a retaliatory action. The "unwalled villages" already exists in Israel today. Gods Word says nothing of any agreements between Gog and Israel in Ezekiel 38=39, it is simply not there. Neither is "oil" or "gas".

God Bless :)

Scott said...

Mrs C - this is always an interesting debate - I;m not so sure I agree with that POV and here is why:

Looking at Ezekiel 38:10-13 we see:

1. God saying (v. 10-11) that Gog willl 'devise an evil scheme', and 'invade a land of unwalled villages' etc...

then, in v. 12, we see Gog stating that he will "plunder and loot' but we don't know exactly what he is plundering and looting. That question seems unanswered.

His (Gog) hand is turned against 'people gathered from the nations", who happen to be 'rich in livestock and goods', but that isn't listed as the reason for the attack - that is just a general description of the people who will be invaded. So at this point in the passage (v10-12) all we know in terms of Gog's intentions are to "Plunder and Loot" but we still don't know whats being plundered and looted

Then, in v 13 we see Sheba and Dedan speculating on what is going on:

"Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and seize much plunder?"

So these are rhetorical questions posed, but we still don't know the underlying reason Gog has attacked. The above is simply speculation by Sheba and Dedan. The real reason hasn't been given - all we have to tangibly go on is still Gog's desire to "Plunder and loot", which could point to almost anything. Its a mystery.

We don't know the underlying reason.

It could well be oil and gas for all we know - Gog doesn't divulge this information in the scriptures.

I believe its unknown and open to speculation.

Just my 2 cents worth :)

Ally said...

This is one of those God myteries! Until we see it play out, we will all be speculating! Lol!
Though I ponder, the involvement with Russia, might make them seemingly safer in the short term. Russia has problems with radical islam but overall, Putin has a low tolerance for stupidity and bad behavior. So a couple of wildmenwant to play wild wild west with Russia, oh well, dissapearing time. Nobody in their right mind wants to attack Russia directly. They and China are the hold outs on the security council. They have a lot of power!
But do they have the power to set up a 7 year peace treaty that allows the rebuilding of the temple? In return for oil n gas rights?
And totally off topic here-if Syria doesnt work out soon, there wont be a Damascus left for Israel to flatten.
I skimmed across a "prophecy" the other day, now I cant find it, I wish I knew where it was. I always read prophecies, don't nevcessarily believe them, but keep my eyes open to the possibilities. (there are so many fake prophets out there :(
Anyway, this person said God said when the Syrian conflict resolves itself, thats when everything happens very quickly. So not expecting it to go that way, but will be paying attention in case it does.

JD Siegel said...

I was discussing the Ezekiel 38 passage with husband and he sees the term "unwalled securely without walls ...bars or gates", to him it sounds like Israel AFTER receiving a peace treaty where they are disarmed. Because, in his opinion, today Israel is surrounded by "electronic" "walls", highly sophisticated electronic surveillence, border crossing police, and security is the tightest on the planet. Israel is by no means living securely at the moment.

Mrs.C said...

Hi Brother Scott, :)
Ok, this is good especially with the rainy day outside, what better way to spend our time than studying His Word :) To begin, we have to look at what Gods Word says, doesn’t say, and most important of all, what His Purpose is. We have to set the stage for the conditions first, and that is seeing the Ezekiel 38-39 war/invasion in the aftermath of the Isaiah 17 war, not in the present day conditions.

The Isaiah 17 war precedes the Ezekiel 38 invasion. These wars will be back to back. Forgive me, there is no mystery dear Brother, we just have to turn the page in His Word, and its there. :)

Isaiah 17 – Israel begins by wining, but it quickly becomes “desolation” for them, and God tells us why He intentionally allows this almost inhalation of His People to happen. God Himself has to step in at the end of Isaiah 17, in order to save His People from being completely wiped out. His Purpose for this –

1.To chasten His People for forgetting Him

2.To bring His People to their knees, that He Himself is all they can turn to preparation for the restoration of His Covenant with them that occurs in the Ezekiel 38 war.

3.It is the beginning of Him turning His attention – to reveal Himself, turn His attention back to His People.

At the end of the Isaiah 17 war Israel is completely helpless, in a primitive state, and severely wounded. This is exactly what Gods Purpose for them is, as He and only He will fight and destroy Gog whom also is in a primitive state. Israel does not fight Gog, because God has seen to it that they cant as He has orchestrated and allowed these wars for His Purposes. In addition, I believe that in Verse 13 of Isaiah 17 when God begins to shoe Himself and has to step in to save His desolated People, is when He will execute His Judgments spoken of in Ezekiel 25-32 (Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon, Egypt).

These Judgments will change the topography of the land, especially along the coast. Tyrus Lebanon for example, Gods tells us what He will do to them “ when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;” Israel at the end of the Isaiah 17 war is devastated, helpless. The topography will have changed in some of the surrounding nations with massive destruction, including the coastal areas.. Israel has just barely survived a horrific multiple fronted war, in which God Himself saved them from certain decimation. Israel’s immediate enemies surrounding her are no more, and should God also fulfill His Judgments against these nations (Ezekiel 25-32)at the end of Isaiah 17 when He “rebukes” them, again, the topography of the land in these nations will be different.

Mrs.C said...

Now begins the Ezekiel 38-39 war/invasion. Israel is helpless to defend herself (as God wants) and Russia knows this. It is God, and He alone that fights Gog, not any Israeli military, as Gods Word says there isn’t.

Ezekiel 38:10-11
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

In Verse 8, we see that Gog is “visited”, God establishes this is in the “Latter Years” and that Gog will attack the land of Israel. So we know that Gog was first “visited” then moving to Verse 10 that at the “same time things shall come into thy mind”, and it is an
“ evil thought”. Gog does not think these on his own, but these “things” that “come INTO his mind” are followed by the “evil thought”. Who is the author of “evil thoughts”? We know the answer to that. The beginning is the “evil thought”. What is the “evil thought”?
Should “Gog” be Putin, it is easy to see him in that roll. Gods Word tells us that Gog will be the protector of all that run to him. When God “rebukes” the nations that rush in to try to finish off Israel in the Isaiah 17 war, His Word says they “flee a far off”. Where do they go? To their ally, Russia. Anger, hatred, revenge are “evil thoughts”. Headlines even ran stating “Putin Vows Revenge for Moscow Airport Bombing” when some of the terrorists struck in Russia. With the “evil thought” planted in him, and refugies coming to them demanding retaliation against Israel for what has happened in Isaiah 17, Russia/Gog will hesitate, but be forced to act.

If it was oil, then the other nations wouldn’t be questioning why Russia went in? A gas/oil would be obvious to all, and they would say, "well of course, they're going in for the oil". It is not obvious to the other nations, and they suggest physical items.
God knows what “oil” is, He told Noah to use “pitch”. Oil/crude has been used in the ME for thousands of years. There was oil blobs showing up all over the place in ancient times. From what I understand, even from what is now called the Dead Sea.
Gods Word says nothing about “oil”, and if it were, He would say it.

Ezekiel 38:13
13 .Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?"

Mrs.C said...

Other nations, don’t know why, they are asking and guessing as to why Russia comes against Israel. As in verse 12, they start off by stating "a spoil" in verse 13, then list all of the things that can be plundered concluding they would all in total be a "great spoil". What are listed is common looting that occurs with the soldiers. Russia did this when they invaded Georgia. Enemy troops loot or take “plunder”. Which is why God has, in Ezekiel 39:10 , the Israeli people, come out of their cities, take back what was plundered from them from the Russian and other dead soldiers.

The Lord then says, the Israelis physically take back what was taken, which would be difficult to do, if it were oil.

Ezekiel 39:10
10.They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord GOD.

If Russia is going to march across the land, there are plenty of other oil rich nations they could take. Why not Saudi Arabia, or others? Israel would not be a deterrent from Russia invading their land, so Russia wouldn’t have to attack Israel to get to the other oil rich nations. Why small little Israel?

Oil, plunder etc. an evil thought? Revenge, anger, hatred is an "evil thought" that starts this. The Scripture states its for more than "plunder", it is to destroy the Israeli people.

Ezekiel 38:12
12. to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.

"Stretch out your hand" , "Against the people". This says harm the Israeli People specifically.

Gog and his followers will be on horses. It is difficult to “plunder” oil/gas loaded onto horses. Israeli’s too will be in a primitive state after the Isaiah 17 war, leading into the beginning of Ezekiel 38 invasion/war, as Gods Word tells us in Ezekiel 39 that they will no longer be gathering “wood” from the fields or cutting wood from the “forests”, but that will be replaced by burning all the various weapons that they took from the dead enemies.

Ezekiel 39:9-10
9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

Please forgive me that this was so long, you put in your 2 cents Brother, and it looks like I put in a dollar lol :)

God Bless!

Scott said...

A lot of people have that point of view, but I never have and there are several views on this.

In my view - if you were to take a look at the various cities of Ezekiel's day, they were all walled. Just like Jerusalem. The threats to these cities were constant.

If Ezekiel were to see Israeli cities today - he would probably be perplexed at the fact that today's cities have no walls. It would look very unusual to him.

As far as living securely - I have read many commentaries (of course one can agree or disagree) that because of Israel's nuclear weapons and incredibly strong military - relative to any other time in history, they are as strong and able to defend themselves as any other time in history. The 4 wars since 1948 seem to confirm that. Israel took care of those wars pretty quickly.

So, in essence, I believe this description fits Israel right now

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

I'm not sure I would agree that Russia's intentions to go after Israel's oil and gas would be obvious. I don't think Russia would want those kind of intentions known and I do think they could invade Israel under a different set of premises.

Look how they went into Georgia 2 years ago with a bunch of false premises and most of the world bought their flimsy explanations. They are preparing to do the same now - Russia has a history of making up false reasons for their aggression.

Russia could still have ships and off-shore equipment that hasn't been disabled by whatever renders them on horses and a lot of the oil/gas is offshore.

But anyway - who knows for sure, I could see it playing out several ways - its not something I have strong feelings on just an interesting set of conditions to look at. The gas/oil thing is 'low hanging fruit' today but in a matter of weeks that whole landscape could change significantly!

Mrs.C said...

Yes, I agree Brother, Russia is sneaky for sure. What they did in Georgia, will be much different than what is to come for them entering Israel. In the aftermath of the Isaiah 17 war, God will have "rebuked" the nations surrounding Israel, lots of destruction. Russia will have to pass through all the remaining destruction to get to Israel.
They will have to enter through the North, as enemies of Israel have historically, not by sea. This entry point, takes them down the spine of Israel so as to speak, the mountain ranges. It is on these mountain ranges that God Himself will destroy them as He says.
With all of the mass destruction, should any oil/gas survive, it still has to be brought up from underground. God will destroy on the coast, Gaza and Lebanon. He will cause the waters in the ocean to cover Tyrus, and He says they will never be found again and will descend into the "pit". Should God cause the ocean shelve to collapse with an earthquake to sink Tyrus, this huge shift in the ocean floor very well could release or destroy any gas deposits.

Ezekiel 26 :18-21
18 Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.
19 For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;
20 When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;
21 I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God.

I completely agree with the “unwalled villages” being seen through the eyes of Ezekiel. Zola did a wonderful teaching on this decades ago. He explained that in Ezekiel’s time, a walled village was for defense, and unwalled village would indicate the residents of that village had no enemies, they were secure enough not to have them. Ezekiel is seeing thousands of years into the future, seeing Israeli metropolises without the defense walls.
This to him based on the only knowledge he had and that was the villages of his day, this would indicate that the “villages” in Israel in the future he is seeing, have no enemies, they must be secure not to have them.
Great discussion Brother! Gotta go check this crazy weather news. You and yours be extra careful, ok?

God Bless! :)

Caver said...

Don't ya just love it when ya get a good discussion going on these things.....It seems the Lord never fails to peal one more layer of the onion back for us every time...sometimes a large point, sometimes a small one.

The part that convinces me that its not oil and gas is the condition of the land at that time and these few little words...

Quote from Mrs C...."In Verse 8, we see that Gog is “visited”, God establishes this is in the “Latter Years” and that Gog will attack the land of Israel. So we know that Gog was first “visited” then moving to Verse 10 that at the “same time things shall come into thy mind”, and it is an
“ evil thought”.

Ok, much or all of Lebanon is under water now? Israel is gathering and burning wood, armies traveling by horses in the mountains.

And Gog is "visited" and has an evil thought "PUT" in his mind.

Now, with that much of the surrounding land mass under water now, burning wood, traveling by four footed there that much need for oil and gas now? Are the oil and gas wells at sea still functioning?

Guess I'm having a real hard time visualizing this being for what we term hard energy just computing here in relation to all the other conditions described for that time.

Oh well, maybe the Lord will peal back another layer of that onion for us :)

Waterer said...

Scott, Mrs C and Caver,
With so much destruction , is it not a possibility that this is in the tribulation or at the end of it?
ALso is it seven years or 7 months that Israel burns the weapons?
What source are you using Mrs c. for commentary?
In Fruchie intro in Footsteps, he makes the point the Revealtion ( the Book) was unique because it gave a sequence to the OT prophets without which it would be impossible to understand the order of events.When you put exe. 38 after Is instead of Ex 37 I was really thrown.
Thanls for good discussion guys.