Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gas in Israel Rises to $7.19 a Gallon at the Pump

Ezra HaLevi

Fuel prices in Israel will rise to an all-time high of $7.19 a gallon at midnight Wednesday – a rise of 4.6 percent. Self-service 95 octane gas will be priced at 6.58 shekels a liter, with 96 octane 6.60 a liter – a rise of 29 agorot per liter for both types.

Gas prices
Add Image have risen for three months straight, rising 5.6 percent since the beginning of the year.

The rising prices are due to a general rise in oil prices worldwide, with the cost of a barrel nearing the $120 mark. Where Does Israel Get Its Oil?
Israel’s gas prices have always been relatively high, as it must buy its fuel from middle-men and smaller oil-producing nations across the globe. Israel has purchased oil from Mexico, the UK and Norway, and more recently, from Russia and Kazakhstan. A steadily increasing amount of natural gas is bought from Egypt, and Israel also imports coal for some of its power plants from Australia, Angola, South Africa and Columbia.

For the decade following the 1967 Six Day War, Israel benefited from direct reasonably-priced fuel piped in from Iran, when it was ruled by the Shah. In 1979, when Iran underwent an Islamic revolution, the pipeline was closed. Israel also lost a major source of oil when it relinquished the oil fields of the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for a treaty with Egypt in 1982.

In 2004, Minister of Infrastructures Yosef Paritzky (Shinui) revealed that most of Israel’s oil imports originate in countries with which the Jewish state does not maintain diplomatic relations. He did not elaborate.

In response to Israel’s recent condemnation of a Swiss oil deal with Iran, Swiss newspapers alleged that Israel continues to purchase a large amount of high-quality oil from the Islamic Republic through a European intermediary.

About 3 percent of Israel’s energy consumption is supplied by solar power, mostly in the form of rooftop solar panels to heat water for residential buildings. Several projects to expand solar power through large facilities in the Negev desert are currently underway.

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