An exciting development was recently announced by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. Israel has reached an agreement with the nations of Cyprus, Greece, and Italy to construct an underwater natural gas pipeline that would supply natural gas to the European market. The proposed pipeline would be over 1,300 miles in length and carry over 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the offshore Israeli gas fields known as Leviathan and Tamar located in the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, the pipeline could be also secure a conduit through which Israel, Cyprus, and Greece have proposed to install and electric cable with a 2,000-megawatt capacity that would export electricity generated at Israeli power plants to Europe. The project is estimated to cost approximately 7 billion dollars and could be fully operational within five years. Once completed, the undersea pipeline would be the longest and deepest in the world which would also make it the most challenging and complex to build. The pipeline will need to be more than two miles deep and will cross through a major under-sea earthquake zone between Cyprus and Crete.
Complicating the situation is the deployment of a Turkish warship off the coast of Italy that has been given orders by Turkish President Recep Erdogan to prevent an Italian energy company from exploring the area off the coast of Cyprus. Likewise, the influence that Russia holds over the European gas market may also weaken as a result of the Israeli proposal. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confident that Israel can make the project a reality and provide a more economical, more politically stable energy option for the nations of Europe. Netanyahu stated recently that this project will build “an alliance for good” by increasing trade and tourism between Israel and Europe. Similarly, Israeli Energy Minister Steinitz was quoted as saying that this “will enable Israel to become an energy supplier to Europe.” These exciting ideas would allow Israel to act as a blessing to European nations by providing an additional option for energy that could help reduce the Arab influence over Europe in the oil and gas market.
Relevant Scripture Passages
The implications of this exciting proposal reminds me of God’s prophetic promise that Israel would become a blessing to all nations. Specifically, we find this prophetic promise given to the patriarch Abraham. Nearly 4,000 years ago God called Abraham to leave his homeland in Ur of the Chaldeans and journey into an unknown land so that God could create His chosen nation from Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 12:1-2). The nation God created through Abraham’s offspring is the nation of Israel! The LORD promised that through Abraham’s offspring “shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3 KJV). Likewise, specifically addressing other nations, after the incident with Isaac demonstrating Abraham’s great faith, the LORD again told Abraham, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18). We can see the parallels and similarities this promise has to the potential impact of Israel being able to provide energy options for Europe. The more “nations” that Israel can bless with more affordable, more politically stable options for their energy needs, the greater likelihood exists that these nations would be blessed in other ways.