As part of her continued work to improve collaboration between the United States and Israel on natural gas production, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., recently participated in a Commerce Department trade mission that brought 15 American oil and gas companies to the region. Israel recently discovered more than 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and Sen. Landrieu is working to help Israel utilize American expertise to develop these resources.
"Israel's historic discovery of energy off its coast is a game changer both economically and geo-politically, giving Israel the opportunity to free itself from energy imports, boost its economy and enhance its security. The U.S. and our energy companies are eager to offer our expertise to help this critical ally develop these resources. This is an important opportunity to spur our government-to-government and business-to-business exchanges with Israel as well as continue building the strong relationship between our two countries," Sen. Landrieu said.
During her time in Israel, Sen. Landrieu spoke at the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention, met with high-ranking Israeli officials and energy company executives, and toured a gas rig. In addition to her focus on oil and gas development, Sen. Landrieu met with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss Austere Challenge 12, the largest ever US-Israeli Joint military exercise.
Sen. Landrieu is also working to build a joint academic collaboration between American and Israeli universities to share knowledge about energy research and development.
"My goal is to strengthen ties between universities in Israel and along the Gulf Coast by building an academic consortium between our two nations. Israel has made some great technological advancements in advanced energy research, and we have a wealth of experience in producing energy for the nation. Sharing our expertise and working together on future discoveries and advancements is mutually beneficial for our countries," Sen. Landrieu said.
This is Sen. Landrieu's second trip to Israel focused on oil and gas exploration. In October 2011, Sen. Landrieu organized the first ever oil and gas trade mission to Israel. In June 2012, Sen. Landrieu helped arrange a visit by a high-ranking delegation of Israeli officials to Washington, D.C., and Louisiana. The delegation met with Sen. Landrieu as well as Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The delegation also attended the Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans and visited Port Fourchon and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Cameron Parish.