The University that Built a Nation

Discovering Natural Gas

The discovery of gas fields in the Mediterranean 6 miles off Israel’s coast in 2010 was considered a major development for economic security; for energy independence, which had long been a strategic vulnerability; and in positioning Israel as a key player in the regional energy market.

But first, Israel needed to find the petroleum and natural gas engineers to bring the gas to shore safely and process it efficiently. As with all new technological challenges, Israel turned to the Technion.

The university immediately launched a Master of Energy Engineering program with a focus on natural gas and petroleum engineering. Formal studies began in December 2011. Today, 70% of Israel’s energy comes from natural gas.

It has reduced carbon emissions by 32% and has saved the country about $6 billion in energy costs and $47.8 billion in pollution-related costs. With more natural gas than it can consume or export, Israel is hoping to supply gas to the European Union via a pipeline to Cyprus, which would be an economic boon for the tiny country.