07/23/2012 05:33
The two countries agree to expand their partnerships in the energy sector with a particular focus on natural gas.

The Energy and Water Ministry and the US Department of Energy committed to further cooperation on energy issues, with a particular focus on natural gas, during a series of intergovernmental meetings last week.

The two countries agreed to expand their partnerships in the energy sector as part of a dialogue that took place over the course of last week, under the direction of US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, Under-Secretary of Energy David Sandalow and Israel Energy and Water Ministry director-general Shaul Zemach. Meetings among the leaders occurred in Washington and focused primarily on natural gas and its issues, according to the Energy and Water Ministry.

US Department of Energy officials expressed great interest in Israel’s ongoing and significant developments in the natural gas market as well as its natural gas policies in particular, which are being “formulated out of nothing,” the ministry said.

Other central discussions took place about potential cooperation in the energy field in general, including energy security policy, reducing dependence on oil and conducting joint experiments – on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In addition to meeting with these specific Department of Energy leaders, Zemach also met during his visit with officials from the American water, natural gas and oil sectors, as well as international energy experts and various colleagues at US research institutes who have expressed interest in Israel’s natural gas policies, business opportunities and investment possibilities, the ministry reported.

Only a month ago, Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau held a meeting with Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver in Jerusalem for similar purposes, during which they agreed to form such energy partnerships between Israel and Canada. The two leaders discussed increased cooperation on energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development, as well as more frequent bilateral meetings to strengthen their relationship.