Why Hasn’t ISIS/Al-Qaeda Ever Attacked Israel?

Terrorist Bedfellows: Saudi Arabia and Israel

21st century wire

Oye-Vey
A tale of two religious states, both hell-bent of purifying their arid lands of anyone who is not like them.One very important fact which is often lost on Americans of all levels and persuasions, is that the regime in Saudi Arabia is absolutely pro-Israel. Thus, anything Israel wants, Saudi does. Both export their own brands of terror. They are partners in business, as well as partners in crime...


BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Both Saudi and Israel need to remain close in order to maintain their artificial desert fiefdoms.

More importantly, both Israel and Saudi Arabia (both states are tethered to the US and Great Britain) fear and loath the concept Arab nationalism, and any secular Arab governments in the Middle East, and thus will do anything to put it down. Destabilization is good, so long as the two can divide the spoils and maintain a monopoly of force and power in the region.

While Israel remains busy terrorizing the native Palestinian population, or exporting false flag terror through the Israeli Mossad, the royal pestilence, who themselves enjoy regular and frequent beheadings (see image below) inside their backward medieval wahabi Bardo, has been quietly backing their sand pirates currently running amok in Syria and Iraq, namely al Qaeda, Jabat al Nusra Front, and ISIS/ISIL/IS, as “freedom fighters” in Syria, have now joined their Zionist cousins in Tel Aviv to rid the region of the real freedom fighters of the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli occupation, Hezbollah.

1-Saudi-Beheading
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: ISIS and Saudi share a penchant for chopping off people’s heads.

Why are the Saudis so upset with Hezbollah? Three reasons…

Firstly Hezbollah are Shi’ite (Shia) muslims, which according to extremist Wahabi royal hegemony doctrine – are the wrong sect of Islam, or not the ‘master sect’ (sound familiar?). Secondly, Hezbollah are doing a fine job of smiting Saudis proxy militants and IS death squads in Syria and Lebanon. Lastly, like Israel, Saudi are also afraid of all things Iranian (mostly they fear any economic competition) and since Hezzbollah are allied with Tehran, and like Israel, Saudi doesn’t like any resistance to their private ambitions.

Isn’t it rich of Riyadh to be crying to the UN about terrorist groups when their Empire of Sand (and oil) is one of the world’s worst sponsors of militant Salafist terrorism?

Meanwhile, the US plays man-in-the-middle, brokering lucrative arms deals for both Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Both are client states, the only difference is that Saudi Arabia still pays for its arms, while Israel is on the US dole, still getting free hand-outs from the US taxpayer (that’s right, Americans unknowingly pay for Israeli fancy weaponry)…

Saudi Envoy Wants Hezbollah Back on UN Terror List

Yalibnan

BEIRUT – Saudi Arabia asked On Wednesday the U.N. Security Council to add Hezbollah to its list of “terrorist organizations”.“We call on the council to place Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations,” Saudi envoy to the Security Council Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said.

Mouallimi stressed that his country is committed to “international cooperation aimed at eradicating terrorism,” noting that “Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that confronted terror.”

“The threat of foreign fighters in Syria is not limited to the country in which they are carrying out their acts, as it rather transcends the borders to reach the entire world,” Mouallimi added.

Hezbollah was founded by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) soon after the 1979 revolution in Iran. The group is fighting in Syria to save the Bashar al-Assad regime.

On November 12, The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) boasted of how it has supplied Lebanese Hezbollah with missile systems.

Brigadier General Hajizadeh, commander of IRGC’s aerospace section told the regime’s Fars news agency: “The factories that manufacture missiles in Syria are built by Iran and the missiles designed by Iran are being manufactured there.

He said the Lebanese Hezbollah “has been taught how to build missiles by Iran” and they “have become quite expert in this field”.

Hajizadeh said all these projects were implemented with the “prodding and encouragement” of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself and that it was the “wisdom of His Excellency that we build missiles with pinpoint accuracy”.

The Iranian regime’s export of missiles and related technology to other countries is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning the activity.

Other Shiite groups

Mouallemi also called on the Security Council to blacklist Shiite Iraqi militia, the League of the Righteous, and the Shiite Syrian militant group, the al-Abbas Brigades.

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday added Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia to its terror list over the Islamist group’s ties to Al-Qaeda, AFP said Wednesday.

Source: NCR-Iran Agencies

Zionist Scum Shoot 5-Year Old In the Face With “Rubber” (Coated Metal) Bullet

Israeli serviceman shoots 5yo Palestinian in the face (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Russia-Today
Download video (26.89 MB)

Israeli police have fired a rubber bullet at a five-year-old Palestinian boy’s face as he was getting out of a school bus on his way home, the child’s family told Palestinian media. He sustained a skull fracture under his eye.

The incident happened when Muhammad Jamal Ubeid and his 14-year-old sister stepped out of the school bus and started walking home in al-Issawiya, an Arab village and neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

“An Israeli soldier fired a black rubber-coated bullet at the child from a close distance, injuring him under the eye,” Muhammad’s uncle told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

READ MORE: IDF strikes Gaza in retaliation to rocket fire

Muhammad was taken to the nearby Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, where the doctors said the boy had a fracture in the bone below his eye. The hospital confirmed that his wound was typical of ones inflicted by rubber bullets.

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

The hospital officials told Haaretz that the boy’s condition was satisfactory and he was headed for surgery.

The child was later transported to the Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood, West Jerusalem.

RT Paula Slier visited Muhammad a few hours after surgery in Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem and talked to his parents.

“He’s an innocent boy, he didn’t do anything! Why did this happen to him? I’m really worried about my son – they [Israelis] are the racists, not us!” Muhammad’s mother told RT.

“He’s 5-years-old, he’s an innocent child, he didn’t have a rifle, he didn’t have a phone,” added his father. “This is racism, they want to kill us because they hate us. We are Palestinians and they hate us.”

READ MORE: Palestinian minister dies after run-in with IDF soldiers in West Bank protest

The village residents who witnessed the incident, told Haaretz that Muhammad was standing outside his home while Israeli police fired rubber bullets at children and teenagers. The latter were throwing stones at vehicles on nearby Ma’aleh Adumim Road.

However, according to the Muhammad’s uncle, there were no clashes in the area between Palestinians and Israelis at the time of the shooting.

On Thursday, Jerusalem police released a statement indicating that police officials used riot-control means. However, they didn’t confirm that the child was injured during the incident.

“A new and in depth examination was conducted following the reports of an injured child being hospitalized and it was found that a number of masked [protesters] threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and shot fireworks at a border police force operating [on Wednesday] on the slopes of Isawiya, to prevent harm to citizens traveling on the road towards Ma’ale Adumim,” the police said in its statement.

They added that Israeli police forces “dispersed the rioters.”

“It is not known if a child was injured during this incident. All the information was transferred to the [Justice Ministry] department for investigating the police,” added the statement.

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Little chance of justice?

Ziyad Hamuri from the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Human Rights told RT there were surveillance cameras in the area, which would show that there were no clashes near the school bus where the boy was shot at.

But according to Hamuri, there is little chance of justice for the injured boy, as Arabs “do not succeed” in Israeli courts, as opposed to Jewish settlers.

“We fear that there is a discrimination in the Israeli law. When it comes to a settler, they have their rights, but in our side, we [Palestinians] don’t have our rights,” the activist said.

Hamuri stressed that this is not the first time firearms have been used against Palestinian children, saying that their use against protesters is not justified. He wondered why the IDF prefers using bullets as opposed to riot control means such as tear gas, pointing out that the so-called rubber bullets are actually rubber-coated metal projectiles that can cause serious injury or death.

“It seems that there [are] orders for them. We have seen two months before that the interior minister declared that they [police] can use such weapons against the people,”
Hamuri said.

According to al-Issawiya accounts, Muhammad is the second child in the area to be hit by foam-tipped bullets in the upper body, which is forbidden by police rule.

In November, an eleven-year-old was shot at a close range in the face by a sponge bullet in al-Issawiya. Saleh Samer Attiyeh Mahmoud lost his left eye and the vision of his right eye was also severely damaged.

Earlier Haaretz reported that Israeli police officers were using foam-tipped bullets, which are generally used for riot control. They are harder than other kinds of bullets and are particularly dangerous for children and teenagers.

Al-Issawiya, along with other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, has heavy Israeli police presence amid ongoing protests over the Israeli occupation.

READ MORE: Israel approves over 350 new settlements in occupied Jerusalem

Israel claimed East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, with its annexation never being recognized internationally. Since then, Israel has built numerous settlements, which are now under military regulation, with different laws applied arbitrarily to certain areas.

Are the Khazars (“Jews”) Going Back To Ukraine?

Leaked report: Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine

times of israel

(Our Russian and Ukrainian correspondents Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass also contributed to this story, delayed due to the crisis over the Crimean referendum.)

“All Jews who wish to return would be welcomed back without condition as citizens, the more so if they take part in the promised infusion of massive Israeli military assistance, including troops, equipment, and construction of new bases. If the initial transfer works, other West Bank settlers would be encouraged to relocate to Ukraine, as well. After Ukraine, bolstered by this support, reestablishes control over all its territory, the current Autonomous Republic of Crimea would once again become an autonomous Jewish domain.”

Fast-breaking Developments

Followers of Middle Eastern affairs know two things: always expect the unexpected, and never write off Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has more political lives than the proverbial cat.

Only yesterday came news that Syrian rebels plan to give Israel the Golan Heights in exchange for creation of a no-fly zone against the Assad regime. In an even bolder move, it is now revealed, Israel will withdraw its settlers from communities beyond the settlement blocs—and relocate them at least temporarily to Ukraine. Ukraine made this arrangement on the basis of historic ties and in exchange for desperately needed military assistance against Russia. This surprising turn of events had an even more surprising origin: genetics, a field in which Israeli scholars have long excelled.

A Warlike Turkic People—and a Mystery

It is well known that, sometime in the eighth to ninth centuries, the Khazars, a warlike Turkic people, converted to Judaism and ruled over a vast domain in what became southern Russia and Ukraine. What happened to them after the Russians destroyed that empire around the eleventh century has been a mystery. Many have speculated that the Khazars became the ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews.

Schnitzler1857.emp

Arabs have long cited the Khazar hypothesis in attempts to deny a Jewish historical claim to the land of Israel. During the UN debate over Palestine Partition, Chaim Weizmann responded, sarcastically: “lt is very strange. All my life I have been a Jew, felt like a Jew, and I now learn that I am a Khazar.” In a more folksy vein, Prime Minister Golda Meir famously said:  “Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speak.”

KhazAxe1

Contrarian Hungarian ex-communist and scientist Arthur Koestler brought the Khazar hypothesis to a wider audience with The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), in the hope that disproving a common Jewish “racial” identity would end antisemitism. Clearly, that hope has not been fulfilled. Most recently, left-wing Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People took Koestler’s thesis in a direction he had not intended, arguing that because Jews were a religious community descended from converts they do not constitute a nation or need a state of their own. Scientists, however, dismissed the Khazar hypothesis because the genetic evidence did not add up. Until now. In 2012, Israeli researcher Eran Elhaik published a study claiming to prove that Khazar ancestry is the single largest element in the Ashkenazi gene pool. Sand declared himself vindicated, and progressive organs such as Haaretz and The Forward trumpeted the results.

Israel seems finally to have thrown in the towel. A blue-ribbon team of scholars from leading research institutions and museums has just issued a secret report to the government, acknowledging that European Jews are in fact Khazars. (Whether this would result in yet another proposal to revise the words to “Hatikvah” remains to be seen.) At first sight, this would seem to be the worst possible news, given the Prime Minister’s relentless insistence on the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” and the stagnation of the peace talks. But others have underestimated him at their peril. An aide quipped, when life hands you an etrog, you build a sukkah.

Speaking off the record, he explained, “We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around Abbas’s insistence that no Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly don’t want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the Gaza Hitnatkut [disengagement].

“We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical.

Speaking on deep background, a well-placed source in intelligence circles said: “We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorship.”

Khazaria 2.0?

All Jews who wish to return would be welcomed back without condition as citizens, the more so if they take part in the promised infusion of massive Israeli military assistance, including troops, equipment, and construction of new bases. If the initial transfer works, other West Bank settlers would be encouraged to relocate to Ukraine, as well. After Ukraine, bolstered by this support, reestablishes control over all its territory, the current Autonomous Republic of Crimea would once again become an autonomous Jewish domain. The small-scale successor to the medieval empire of Khazaria (as the peninsula, too, was once known) would be called, in Yiddish, Chazerai.

SprunerCarl.det.1000

the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”

“As you know,” the spokesman continued, “the Prime Minister has said time and again: we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 years. The same is true of the Khazars: just back in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”

EmpCharlMonin.1841.500

“As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. It’s in all the history books. You can look it up.”

Old-New Land?

Black Sea, showing Khazar presence in Crimea and coastal regions: Rigobert Bonne, Imperii Romani Distracta. Pars Orientalis, (Paris, 1780). Note Ukraine and Kiev at upper left. At right: Caspian Sea, also labeled, as was the custom, as the Khazar Sea

“We’d like to think of it as sort of a homeland-away-from-home,” added the anonymous intelligence source. “Or the original one,” he said with a wink. “After all, Herzl wrote about the Old-New Land, didn’t he? And the transition shouldn’t be too difficult for the settlers because, you know, they’ll still get to feel as if they are pioneers: experience danger, construct new housing, carry weapons. The women can continue to wear scarves on their heads, and the food won’t be very different from what they already eat.”

In retrospect, we should have seen this coming, said a venerable State Department Arabist, ticking off the signs on his fingers: a little-noticed report that Russia was cracking down on Israeli smuggling of Khazar artifacts, the decisions of both Spain and Portugal to give citizenship to descendants of their expelled Jews, as well as evidence that former IDF soldiers were already leading militias in support of the Ukrainian government. And now, also maybe the possibility that the missing Malaysian jet was diverted to Central Asia.

A veteran Middle East journalist said: “It’s problematic, but in a perverse way, brilliant. In one fell swoop, Bibi has managed to confound friend and foe alike. He’s put the ball back in the Palestinians’ court and relieved the pressure from the Americans without actually making any real concessions. Meanwhile, by lining up with the Syrian rebels and Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Azerbaijan, he compensates for the loss of the Turkish alliance and puts pressure on both Assad and Iran. And the new Cypriot-Israeli gas deal props up Ukraine and weakens the economic leverage of both the Russians and the Gulf oil states. Just brilliant.”

Jews Want “Reparations” for Displacement After Palestinian Nakba, May 15, 1948

NAKBA

“An intricate and determined programme of ethnic cleansing at all levels of society and with all forms of suppression continues until this day against the Palestinian people inside Israel and within the Occupied Palestinian Territories: the construction of illegal Jewish settlements and their exclusive network of roads and highways that connects them, the building of the prison Wall robbing more Palestinians of their land and cutting off communities from their farms and groves, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of olive trees, the forced evictions, the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure such as water supply and sanitation, the segregationist ‘legal’ system that favours Jews over Palestinians, the arbitrary arrests and detentions of civilians and their elected leaders and, to crown it all, the flagrant and consistent Israeli violations of International Law and all UN Resolutions.”

[(SEE:  What about the Jewish Nakba? )Why don’t they ask for their own “right of return” for Jews to Iran and Arab countries?  The link is here and in the title below, if you need to read such garbage.]

Israel calls for reparations for Middle Eastern Jews

times of israel

President says the voices of the immigrants from Arab countries ‘were muted,’ world must ‘mend the historical injustice’

President Reuven Rivlin speaks at a ceremony marking the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. November 30, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy)

President Reuven Rivlin speaks at a ceremony marking the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. November 30, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Zionist Right-Wing Plans To Avoid 3rd Intifada With Pay-Offs

Israel FM supports paying Arabs to leave

aljazeera

Avigdor Lieberman says he favours providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis to leave the country.

Israeli Arabs say a bill to declare Israel the homeland of Jewish people only further alienates them [Reuters]

Israel’s foreign minister says he supports paying Arab citizens to leave the country.

In a manifesto of his right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, Avigdor Lieberman said he favoured ceding Arab majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis – about 20 percent of Israel’s population – to encourage them to emigrate.

The manifesto, published on Friday, did not set out positions on the most difficult issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s borders.

But it does acknowledge the necessity of territorial compromise in reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, and also with moderate Arab countries.

Once a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is now seen as harbouring prime ministerial ambitions himself.

His offer to pay Israeli Arabs to leave comes as Netanyahu pushes forward with a contentious parliamentary bill to formalise Israel’s status as a Jewish state – a measure that many Arab-Israelis say will institutionalise their status as second class citizens.

The bill, which Netanyahu says is necessary to safeguard Israel’s future, is opposed by a wide range of Israeli political figures, including the largely ceremonial president, but is strongly supported by right wing members of his ruling coalition, including Lieberman.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces fired tear gas at several dozen rock-throwing demonstrators at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem following weekly prayers Friday.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

Zionist Brutality Repellent To Civilized People

Israel’s Horrible Strategy of Retribution

ideal media

The Irritated American

Israel's Horrible Strategy of Retribution

Ben Gurion: where is your modern-day equivalent? (PHOTO: file)

It’s very simple. It’s a cycle that goes round and round and round without end.

And Israel seems to like it that way.

If they didn’t, they’d cease engaging in the enraging behavior that has become their modus operandi for decades now.

Not once in all the years and years of peace brokering attempts by third parties has Israel ever stopped settlement building and expansion in the Occupied Territories–that is, the West Bank. This despite the begging and imploring to do so by any number of American presidents and leaders from around the civilized world.

Yet it doesn’t stop. There is no shortage of space in Israel “proper”– that is, the land that has been claimed by Israel as its official boundary .  .  . and that any Palestinians who lived in (and then fled from) those boundaries prior to the formation of the state in the 1940’s have no claim, regardless of house keys, land deeds, money paid, etc.

Yet despite this lack of anything near overpopulation in Israel, the religious right and “Hilltop Youth” in the country are determined to expand the country…heading out into the West Bank and building homes in isolated areas on strategic hilltops, and expanding existing illegal settlements to encroach even further into ancient Palestinian properties, farms, orchards, and the like.

And since the political leadership is petrified of the religious hardline in a country founded upon religious identity, this illegal expansion is rarely confronted. Thus, Palestinian property is encroached upon, orchards stolen, farms bulldozed–all for no purpose but for the excitement of religious adventure and reliving biblical tales.

Creating, with each stroke, hordes of displaced, naturally enraged Palestinians. Most of the rage has little to do with Israelis being Jewish–they could be Hindu, they could be Buddhist, they could be Christian, they could be Muslim: the rage is about theft, of about displacement, of being treated like dirt in your own land by folks who have no ethnic, genetic connection to the land but for their belief in religious scripture.

*

Over the past week, a horrible and disgustingly bloody attack was unleashed in Israel by vengeance-minded Palestinians, who attacked worshippers in a synagogue with handguns and meat cleavers.

The point is this: an awful and law-violating retribution is being wrought against the families of the attackers .  .   .  mothers, fathers, little brothers and sisters in elementary school, and the like. It’s a policy brought back into vogue despite the fact that it is a clear breaking of International Law: demolishing the homes that the attackers (shot dead on the spot) lived in– with bulldozers and wrecking equipment, and leaving those completely innocent relatives homeless as punishment.

This is a draconian form of vengeance that Israel formally ceased ten years ago, considering it far too severe, unjust, and completely counterproductive. All it does is instill a murderous rage in a whole new group of people, and radicalizes them. If these innocent family members didn’t hate Israel prior to the razing, you can be sure that they will be hellbent on rage and revenge afterwards. It’s as certain as 2 + 2= 4.

When Israel conducts military operations in the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian people suffer incredible percentiles of collateral damage. The number of women and children who die (in addition to militants)  from shelling and air and rocket attacks are outrageously disproportionate to the tiny casualties on the Israeli side. When Israel commits crimes against innocents, there is no Palestinian military allowed to exist–thus, nobody can go into Israel to kill the killer, and then make the killer’s family homeless by demolishing the family dwelling.

Instilling this sense of extreme rage, injustice, and total military impotence in a people is formally and officially the Manufacturing of a Terrorist. There are no two ways about it.

Once upon a time, Israel understood this. They grasped the concept, and put the practice to a stop ten years ago.

Now, after the synagogue attack last week, and a couple of similar attacks in September and October, Israel has been attacking innocent families once again after killing perpetrators on the spot of the original crime.

This has got to stop, in the name of humanity and all that is decent. All it does is give Israel the reason they’re looking for to stay in the West Bank–for “security reasons.” It doesn’t deter terrorism; it multiplies it exponentially.

David ben Gurion, founder of Israel and it’s first Prime Minister, said to Nahum Goldmann, the president of the World Jewish Congress:

If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country … We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?

Someday, another wise Israeli leader with that level of understanding will come around and solve this conundrum with this kind of empathy, purging of national guilt with a sense of a new beginning, and finally conciliation. We desperately need him–sooner rather than later.

Preston Clive

ZIONIST Stench Killing Leviathan “Bonanza” for Big Oil

[SEE:  BIG OIL Doesn’t Like the Stench of Zionist Gas–No One Is Willing To Partner with Israel ; Report: Israel’s $15b gas deal with Jordan may be in jeopardy]

Energy companies will call final shots for Cyprus gas

Cyprus mail

Energy companies will call final shots for Cyprus gas

By Elias Hazou

Whereas the talks in Nicosia on Tuesday provide a political backbone for potential natural gas deals, it is the energy companies that will ultimately call the shots, energy expert Charles Ellinas has told the Cyprus Mail.

British energy outfit BG Group are currently desperate to secure gas supplies for their liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Idku, Egypt, which are operating at below capacity.

The Idku plant has a capacity of around 7.2 million tonnes of LNG per annum, but is currently working with around 2 million tonnes.

BG are exploring a number of options to plug that gap, with Cypriot gas from the Aphrodite field being one such alternative.

If developed, Aphrodite could plausibly yield anywhere from 3.5 to 4 million tonnes a year, channelled to Egypt by pipeline from the Aphrodite reservoir. The pipeline must be coupled with a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit built on top of the gas well. An FPSO is essentially a platform producing and treating the gas on-site.

The earliest completion date for such a project would be late 2019, Ellinas said. It is less capital-intensive than either onshore or marine-based LNG and, given falling LNG prices worldwide, would make more economic sense for Noble Energy, operators of the Aphrodite field.

Assuming Noble clinches a deal to pipe the bulk of the Aphrodite gas to Egypt, the revenues from the contract might then make it worthwhile to construct a second, small-diameter pipeline running from offshore Block 12 to Vasilikos on the southern coast of Cyprus, supplying small quantities of gas for domestic electricity generation here.

It’s understood that Noble has been discussing these scenarios with BG as well as with the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company.

By way of example, were Cyprus to buy the Aphrodite gas for $10 per million BTU (mmbtu), and the profits to be made are around $3 per mmbtu, Cyprus would pocket two-thirds ($2 per mmbtu) of the profits, as it owns two-thirds of the Aphrodite gas. That leaves a net cost of $8 per mmbtu for gas purchased from the Block 12 reservoir, a substantially lower price compared to importing natural gas via the so-called interim solution.

But when it comes to supplying BG’s gas-starved export plant, Cyprus faces stiff competition. BG has already signed a letter of intent with the partners in Israel’s Leviathan gas field for approximately 5 million tonnes of LNG a year. And BG is in talks with BP to link their two gas developments off Egypt’s coast. BP’s North Alexandria gas field is expected to come online next year – far sooner than Cyprus’ Aphrodite field – and could provide BG’s plant with up to 2 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

“Right now everything is on the table,” Charles Ellinas said.

The expert also drew a connection between the technical study for a Cyprus to Egypt pipeline – unveiled by the two countries’ energy ministers on Tuesday – and the ongoing gas supply tender put out by the Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA).

DEFA chairperson Eleni Vasiliadou has confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that the validity period of the ‘interim gas’ tender has been extended – for a second time – to the end of January 2015.

DEFA on Tuesday began assessing the three remaining bidders’ revised financial offers. According to press reports, the prices quoted by the bidders hover around the $14 per mmbtu mark.

Time-wise, the new validity period of DEFA’s tender now coincides with the completion of the technical study for the Cyprus-Egypt pipeline.

“It’s very likely that officials are waiting on the Cyprus to Egypt pipeline analysis to come through before plunging ahead with the DEFA gas imports,” offered Ellinas.