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How does the State of Israel make statements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting a polluting project?

Naaman Center at the Technion recently held a seminar in which he summarized the opinions of the various parties on the issue of oil production from oil shale in the Adolim region. Below is its summary

This is what the experimental production facility looks like (beautiful? suitable for the landscape? small? not offensive? not polluting?).
This is what the experimental production facility looks like (beautiful? suitable for the landscape? small? not offensive? not polluting?).

Naaman Center at the Technion recently held a seminar in which he summarized the opinions of the various parties on the issue of oil production from oil shale in the Adolim region.

Oil shale is layered rocks of organic origin from which between 20% and 70% of oil can be extracted by heating and extraction. According to a geological survey, there are layers of oil shale in the south of the country at various depths - from the surface to a depth of about 200 meters, in quantities of about 15 million tons - not including the Elah Valley and the Adolim Valley.

In the world, oil is extracted from the oil shale in open mines where the shale layer is discovered, miners and the oil and gas are extracted in furnaces. This process destroys huge areas and pollutes the environment and the air. Canada and China - countries with huge territories are countries that "can afford" production in such a wasteful process. Even in the (great) USA they are trying to avoid the wasteful procedure by developing a method in which the heating and extraction of the oil will be done in situ. According to this method, at a mining site in a large area, pipes will be inserted that will flow hot water (up to about 500 degrees Celsius) into the shale layers, heating and absorbing the oil and gas that will be pumped to the production facility. In some cases, to facilitate the production of gas and liquid, fracturing of the bedrock is integrated into the production (the infrastructure).

It is worth noting that in the USA the method is in experimental stages,

When wherever the experiments take place - resistance erupts from the residents and the greens. With us, the company IEI (hereafter the developer) offers to extract the oil from the oil shale in the Adulam region, by means of "mobile" production facilities that will move every few years and use a different area.

Such a "portable" facility occupies an area of ​​approximately 1 square kilometer for a period of 25 years in which it will produce approximately 50,000 barrels per day, according to the developer's data. The environmental and social risks in producing energy from oil shale are:

Using huge amounts of water
Disposal of residual materials (waste)
water pollution (aquifer)
Damage to populations - human and wild animals
Damage to the land and landscape
Water and air pollution

It is clear that in order to utilize the oil that will be produced, it must be transported. I did not see any reference to the roads that would be paved and the heavy vehicles that would move on them.


At a seminar on the topic of energy production from oil shale in the Adulam region, the entrepreneurs for the production appeared, in front of and next to them various parties presented their conclusions and opinions. As is the way of presenting things to an audience, most presentations are accompanied by tables and pictures and lack detailed content, yet below is the gist of things.

IEI company proposal

Of course, according to the IEI company, the quantities of oil characterized by low specific gravity and high sulfur content and the gas that can be produced are enormous: about 50,000 barrels per day from each square kilometer, and a total of about one hundred and fifty billion barrels.

According to the entrepreneur, the cost of producing a barrel will be about $40 (today the price of a barrel in the market is about $100), this with a method, which is being tested today in the USA, of heating the shale layer at depth without open mining. According to the developer, there is and will be no environmental damage. The entrepreneur explains that by extracting the energy from the oil shale field in Adulam, the country will save about 5 billion dollars a year. It is interesting that the developer cites the position of the opponents by citing the "Tsnower Report" and explaining that in the survey commissioned by the residents of the Adolim region, the surveyors came to the conclusion that there is no real danger to the groundwater and again, the water authority supervises the "pilot" and requires monitoring wells to show that there is no leakage of materials into the water .

In the developer's presentation, there is no reference to other environmental problems such as damage to the landscape, air pollution, noise, etc., except for the casual statement that: "There will be no environmental damage".

Dr. Avraham Arbiv, director of R&D at the Ministry of Energy and Water, presented a presentation (Ravat Mellal) in which he tells about attempts to produce energy from oil shale in the Rotem Plain. The experiments (and to some extent the commercial production) cost the state and its partners about 100 million dollars.

In my understanding, the final conclusion is that there is no economic justification for extracting oil from the oil shale in Adulam, and that the environmental pollution and emissions of pollutants into the air are greater than in a coal-fired power plant.

Even though a power plant that produces energy from oil shale for KIL is still operating, the developing company became a "shelf company".

According to the hydrology data as presented by Dr. Avi Borga from the Geological Institute, the thickness of the geological layer in which the oil shale is found is several hundred meters. The shale "sits" above a rock formation (the Yehuda group) which is the main aquifer in the country. Between the shale and the aqua there is a layer of kirton rocks (soft chalk) that is about 100 meters thick.

Since the layer of concrete does not transmit water, Dr. Borga states that: "In the process of extracting oil from the oil shale there is no real danger of damaging the aqua, which is the main water supplier." Still, they will require monitoring positions and coordination with the Water Authority and the Hydrological Service.

There is no reference in the survey to the huge amounts of water required for the process, there is no reference to waste disposal.

Adam Teva and Din, whose representative also participated in the conference, claim that the oil shale project will damage open areas: landscape damage and a negative impact on the character of the area. The project will cause air pollution, noise hazards and pollution of water sources. The organization also has objections to the legal procedure for promoting the project.

In conclusion (Shelley, A.R.)

How does the State of Israel make statements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting a polluting project?

The State of Israel promotes technologies for the development of renewable energy sources and at the same time allows a polluting venture to produce high sulfur oil. At the same time, the State of Israel seeks to recognize the Halla Valley as a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site while at the same time making it an industrial area.

I fail to understand why try to develop an expensive and polluting energy source when we have gas in the sea and when all over the world there is an increasing tendency to develop clean energy sources.

And again: it is appropriate and true that the calculation computers will help economists who also know how to calculate the value of open spaces - versus an industrial area, of clean air versus pollution, of an open agricultural landscape versus drilling rigs. Economists are needed who know how to calculate the cost of an industrial enterprise against the quality of life and the environment.

To conclude the symposium and the presentations in full on the Mossad Ne'am website

7 תגובות

  1. To assemble
    I believe that the real reason for the development of this energy source does not come from economic motives but from political motives.
    For the State of Israel, the desire to be independent of other countries has always been an influential factor and the desire to achieve energy independence is probably more important to the government than environmental issues. And the connection to natural gas - natural gas is indeed an energy source in our country that is cleaner and greener, but it is used to generate electricity and is therefore less relevant to energy for transportation purposes, where the aforementioned project comes into play in order to achieve energy independence for both electricity production and transportation.
    That's my opinion anyway...

  2. Hello! Wake up there!
    We have long since crossed the red lines on the way to a third world country.

    The economy is growing.
    The country is flourishing.

    And many citizens are left without a decent livelihood.

  3. Another calculation that economists need to make is to show how much more profitable it is to base our energy economy on renewable sources compared to consumable sources, especially if those fuels are produced in Israel.
    In normal cost-benefit calculations, it seems that the oil shale project is profitable and it is even possible to compensate for the loss of the mountain aquifer, with, for example, the construction of additional desalination facilities.
    But here comes the process of change in the economy that moves to a sustainable economy, where the impact on future generations and the ecological network everywhere is taken into account.
    Unfortunately, the road is still long and because of this, the scandalous recommendation to export most of the gas abroad was accepted, by setting a discount rate so high as if the country were an exit company.

    To say that the same amount of oil will bring us a lot of money is not true, because it will cost us in the open areas, with significant air pollution, mainly from a source of fuel saturated with sulfur at a concentration 60,000 times higher than the standard that allows sulfur in fuel. Because of this, as written by IEI itself, it will be necessary to transport the extracted extract with the help of trucks to a refining facility that will be adapted to such a high sulfur concentration, something that does not yet exist in Israel.
    This project will determine us to continue basing our income on the export of natural resources as if we were another third world country. For example, Mishor Rotem, every crossing of which shocks me anew.
    The same venture that was established there to produce energy from the oil shale did not generate profits either according to the statements of the Ministry of Energy and Water and Society for Israel.
    This is without including the health costs of the residents of Yeruham and Dimona due to the emissions from the energy production from the shale.

    This project, together with the prosperity of fracking in the world, only shows how addicted we are to fossil fuels, and are willing to do a lot to get another dose. The same oil shale that is a substitute for crude oil, for me, is compared to the substitute drug given to heroin addicts called Adolen. Hence, IEI and the Israeli government are interested in turning the Adolim region into the Adolen region in order to supply a drug to the global petrochemical corporations.

  4. Asaf,

    I'm sorry that you chose to write that the quotes are taken from the presentation of the entrepreneur and of the conference without referring to the exact place (because I checked and they don't appear there). Also, I'm sorry that you chose to remove your responsibility for many other things and claim that you are not responsible for it, you just quoted (without showing the exact location). It's not serious.
    I expected a more serious answer in light of your reputation.
    In any case, if you have specific answers to the questions I raised earlier. I would love to read.


  5. Hello fan
    In order of your response:
    - I don't remember your face directly to me, if it was a face directed to the "Hidan"
    After all, I'm not the addressee, I probably didn't answer you because "I'm too busy to answer",
    My articles are mine because I write them and sometimes to the extent that I quote other news
    I add my opinion, my opinion not the site's opinion.
    - The person who publishes and edits the news (including my articles) is the editor of "Hidan"
    And I don't think he has to answer everyone who addresses him,
    - At the beginning of the list (and mostly) I brought the things as they appear in the presentations,
    including the presentation of Dr. Arbiv... and if Dr. Arbiv wrote "A Shelf Company" I quoted his words,
    The same goes for the investment (as far as I understand investment = cost),
    I also mentioned (which is not clear from Der Arbiv's presentation) that there is a (small) factory that supplies
    Energy per kilo,
    - Since I don't understand economics, I quoted the presenters' words as they were, including the numbers,
    and including the calculation that the project is not economic,
    - With all due respect to the Bejce... there are indeed cases and issues in which its people show ignorance.
    - At the bottom of the list there is a link to all the presentations and there you can see what a "temporary facility" looks like.
    - In the presentations there is a reference to water and a reference to a number of sources, all of which warn of the risk of water
    and the need to use huge amounts of water in the production process,
    - After you see the presentations and photos of the facilities, you might understand the volume of traffic
    And the amount of trucks that will be transported in the area, laying pipes also has an environmental / landscape cost.
    - The facility in the south of the nation is small, the one planned in Emek Elah and the production in it is open,
    The facility is "stuck" in the Zohar ridge in a place far from any settlement and was built without environmental consideration,
    Therefore, it should not be compared to what is planned in the world,
    - and again the calculations are not mine but taken from the developer's presentation.
    A fan - most of the list is taken from the presentations only at the end I made up my mind
    It may not be to your liking, but it is also the opinion of everyone who cares about the environment.

  6. Hi Assaf,

    In the past I wrote an article in response to an article that was published by you about climate change. I asked for the data to be published and even my father assured me that it would be published in May. It was a year ago but I'm still waiting.

    In addition, I wrote several responses in the past to you and my father in which I tried to convince you to find errors in the article I wrote about the amount that should be paid to the solar energy entrepreneurs. I will only mention that in the end you avoided finding mistakes in the short article I wrote since you claimed that you are busy publishing many articles every day - "quantity is better than quality" you said, if I remember correctly.
    I actually support quality over quantity, but even then we agreed that we disagree on this issue.

    In any case, since I understand a little about energy (as you must have noticed from the solar energy mar), I wanted to raise a number of comments and questions to your article:

    1. A bit of economics: in Dr. Arbiv's presentation (I checked), it was written that they invested 100 million dollars and not that the project cost 100 million dollars. It should be noted that the project provided and provides to this day (this is explicitly written in the presentation) electricity and steam. To say that the attempts cost 100 million dollars is a bit of an understatement, especially in light of the fact that electricity and steam are still being produced there.

    2. Could you please present the basis for the conclusion you reached that the project is not economical? Especially in light of the fact that according to Dr. Arbiv's presentation, the cost of producing a barrel of oil is $60 in current terms.

    3. Why did you say "the company became a shelf company", could you explain what a "shelf company" is? I believe that you quoted a stupid sentence from Dr. Arbiv's presentation. Furthermore, I believe that one should be more careful in quoting sentences that the writer is not well versed in interpreting.

    4. To the best of my recollection, the High Court of Justice recently dismissed some petition against the EIE company. In your opinion, even the High Court does not understand the matter and the entrepreneur was able to work on it?

    5. You mentioned mobile facilities that will be used, could you please elaborate on the subject or refer to a place regarding those "mobile facilities"?

    6. Also regarding the use of water, I would appreciate a link.

    7. For general information, oil and gas are usually transported in pipelines, this may be why you did not see the reference to roads and trucks

    8. What is the difference in greenhouse gas emissions between imported oil (including emissions during transportation) compared to oil that will be produced or was produced from oil shale in the south in a facility that "cost 100 million dollars"? Can you show your calculation?

    9. Finally, have you tried to see how the 50,000 barrels per day stack up against the 150 billion barrels? How many years has it been out? You can always say that EIE claims so. In this case, I would also like a link here.

    Asaf, since I believe that you do not write just like that, I am confident that you will provide substantive answers to the questions I raised.

    Thanks in advance,

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