Israel produced some considerable quantities of oil in
1971 during its occupation of the Sinai Peninsula but this area had been
returned to Egypt by 1982 and it has otherwise produced just a small
amount of oil onshore from the Negev desert.
In 1999 and 2000 the country made a number of gas discoveries offshore
near the Egyptian border and others were made off the Gaza strip in
Palestine. Gas production from one of the fields in Israel (Mari) began
in 2004 with minor amounts of NGLs and additional output is expected
from here and elsewhere.
In 2009 the Tamar gas field was discovered in deep waters west of Haifa
and this, along with potential neighbouring finds, may lead to
siginificantly increased gas production over the medium term.
Oil consumption is increasing slowly and further
increases are forecast before dropping after 2016.
Gas consumption began in 2004 and will grow as more offshore gas is
brought onstream. The gas is primarily used in electricity generation
although a distribution network is also planned. In the long term the
country may begin importing gas from Egypt.