Benjamin Netanyahu and one of the submarines purchased from Germany.
According to foreign publications, the purchases that entangled Netanyahu were intended to protect Israel's oil supply lines (Photo: Government Press Office, Kobi Gideon)
Most of us still drive private vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel and indirectly benefit from the tremendous economic activity of the fleets of trucks, buses, trains, ships and planes.
Have you asked yourself where the oil that is processed into various products in the refineries in Haifa and Ashdod comes to Israel?
After all, Israel could go to war at any moment, in the face of the enemy that has risen up against us for our brides, this time Iran.
And what about Israel's oil reserves that must be large to meet the challenges of an emergency or a siege?
According to foreign publications, Israel already in 2011 increased its oil reserves by a huge amount, perhaps sixfold and even continued to increase the reserves in later years. In
order to prevent a blockade and damage to the lifeline of the oil, Israel equipped itself with a huge fleet of submarines, of course not only for this purpose. The German submarines revolved around a debate and investigations that were on trial, although not against the soon-to-be-returning Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The oil imported to Israel, for the most part is imported today from countries in the Caucasus and Asia through the oil pipeline that leaves Baku-Azerbaijan, continues to Tbilisi-Georgia and from there to the port of Ceyhan-Turkey, Ceyhan, an oil terminal in southeastern Turkey.
The abbreviated name of the pipe is BTC.
The pipeline, which is approximately 1,776 kilometers long, was inaugurated in 2006 and was originally intended to be independent of Russia.
It is critical for Israel, being an oxygen pipe for the economy.
Hence the tremendous importance that Israel sees in continuing to strengthen diplomatic and military relations with the Azeris, who according to foreign publications have benefited and are benefiting from tremendous Israeli military assistance, some argue even decisive in the battlefield of the secular Shia Muslim Azeris, in their wars against the Christian Armenians in the battles in the Marivena district near Karach.
The Netanyahu couple in Azerbaijan, exactly 6 years ago.
The Azeris will soon open an embassy in Tel Aviv (Photo: Government Press Office, Haim Tzach)
Sanctions and their meaning
The Azeris, who are very satisfied with the relations with Israel, just decided at the end of November to openly open an embassy in Tel Aviv, which angers Shia Iran, which has a large Azeri population in its territory, which constitutes about 18% of the total population of Iran (double the population of Azerbaijan itself, which numbers 10.3 million people).
The renewal of warm diplomatic relations (in recent months) with Turkey, and the return to cooperation in the hope of returning to the good old days, are also another pillar in securing the supply of oil from the BTC pipeline, over 30% owned by British Petroleum and another 20% owned by the Azerbaijanis.
The funding for the pipeline is from the Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD, which sits in London and also the Israeli government among its shareholders, in a small way.
According to foreign publications, the largest supplier of oil to Israel is Azerbaijan, from its oil wells in the Caspian Sea, and Kazakhstan and even Russia may be among the suppliers.
Oil prices in the world have fluctuated in recent days while trending downward, all due to the entry into force of the expansion of the West's sanctions against Russia, the punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.
As of the 5th of this month, it is forbidden for the countries of the European Union, the 7G countries, as well as Australia, to buy oil from Russia at a price exceeding 60 dollars per barrel, all in order to reduce income and sources of foreign exchange and the possibilities of financing Russia's war against Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a decision by the Council Europe is "stupid". The Russian president also threatened that he is considering reducing Russia's oil output in order to take revenge on the Western countries. Not only that, says Putin, he is considering preventing the sale of Russian oil to all the 7G countries.
The Western powers, the entire European Union and Australia, are now prevented from allowing international insurance for oil tankers, tankers carrying Russian oil, if it is purchased at a price exceeding 60 dollars per barrel.
Brokers in the field of insurance are also prohibited from brokering Russian oil cargo insurance that does not comply with the new rules of the West.
Without insurance, many shipping companies in the world will naturally refrain from shipping Russian oil.
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Those of Azerbaijan, according to reports in the foreign press, produce oil for Israel (Photo: ShutterStock)
As a result of the Western powers' price limit on Russian oil, which the Europeans announced many months ago, shipping companies engaged in transporting oil - as well as Russia and its friends - prepared themselves for sanctions that the Council of Europe decided had no time limit.
A gray and black market of oil tankers was created in which the Russians, the Iranians and the Venezuelans deal.
Shadow tankers, mostly old ones that should have been retired and scrapped, over 15 years old, are changing hands at prices that rise by tens of percent for the sailing scrap.
Nimble traders make tens of millions of dollars for the tankers that trade friends.
The "Navy in Darkness" first appeared after the imposition of sanctions on Iran by former US President Donald Trump, who sought to impose the nuclear agreement on it. Since January of this year, 135 oil tankers have changed hands, according to the website Riviera Maritime Media, which deals with the issue of tankers.
The origin of the name lies in the fact that tankers of the unreported fleet sometimes turn off the tankers' automatic signaling system, which is necessary for international sailing, so that they cannot be recognized and thereby become a "fleet in the dark".
Originally, the system was required to locate and know what the destination of the tanker was in order to prevent accidents.
These old tankers are already showing up at Russia's oil ports to load oil banned by the West.
The American organization United Against Nuclear Iran estimates that the "dark navy" has grown in two years from 70 tankers to 257 tankers.
Not only that, there are smart people who state that they only pay 60 dollars per barrel, but the transportation fees are very high above the norm in the international trade for transporting oil.. In this way, they manipulate the numbers to make immediate profits, despite the sanctions of the European Union and the seven rich countries.
Naturally, these old tankers are not registered in the countries that take sanctions against Russia.
Russia is not a widow, despite the new sanctions against it.
It has companies to learn from how to deal with sanctions, such as Iran and Venezuela.
The Indians and the Chinese have absolutely no intention of obeying the dictates of the West.
They are thirsty for Russian oil and announced in Rish Gali that they will continue to purchase from it.
If at the beginning of the year India still did not buy Russian oil, now it imports 0.9 million barrels per day.
China imports about 1 million barrels per day, slightly above the 0.9 million barrels it imported from Russia at the beginning of the year.
There is also a financial temptation: the oil from the Ural Mountains in Russia is sold to China at a significant discount compared to the oil in the North Sea, in September the discount was $33 per barrel.
So it is clear that the Chinese are buying more and more oil from Russia, the war in Ukraine really does not interest them.
The Chinese, who have become the main rivals of the world's greatest power, the United States, are also pointing fingers at the Americans through Saudi Arabia.
After Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman insulted President Joe Biden who visited Saudi Arabia in August and asked him to increase Saudi oil production in order to reduce prices and prevent a global inflationary rollover, the prince did exactly the opposite: together with OPEC countries and Russia, it was decided to reduce the The organization's oil output is 2 million barrels per day. In order to anger the United States, whose position is being undermined in Arabia and the Persian Gulf, just as Britain's position was being undermined at the time (while it was a power in the seventies of the last century), Bin Salman also received the President of China with pomp and respect Xi Jinping.
Hello to a friend: Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Turkey, Erdogan (photo: photo processing, photo processing)
The Saudis say they do not choose a side in the struggle between Washington and Beijing and therefore allowed the visiting president to meet with local oil producers.
China may increase oil purchases in Saudi Arabia, this was not clearly reported, when at the same time the Saudis are being sold weapons systems that the Americans refuse to sell, such as UAVs.
Russia already became India's largest oil supplier in October of this year, 22%, ahead of Iraq with 20.5% Of the total Indian oil imports and the Saudis who supply about 16%. The Russians also tempt the Indians with discounts: the price the Indians and the Russians pay today are 40% lower than what is charged in the North Sea. The energy wars will continue as long as the war in Ukraine continues. The Russians are known for their patience and their breath The sanctions are not pleasant, but the Russian people have never lived in luxury and a high standard of living, which if we fall from it, the politicians also fall from power.
The Western sanctions against Russia do not apply to Israel.
That is, there is certainly an option for Israel to buy Russian oil, cheap and nearby.
There is no information if Israel buys and how much Russian oil as it was in the past.
In any case, Israel's neutrality in the bloody war between Ukraine and Russia is sensitive.
We will wait to see what the policy of the new Netanyahu government will be.
With the current oil prices continuing to deteriorate, also due to the recession surrounding Europe and the slowdown in economic activity in the two main powers, China and the USA, it can be expected that gasoline prices in Israel will actually decrease in the coming months, even if the Treasury restores the full excise tax to its original value.
In January, electricity rates will increase by 10.8%, which will burden electric vehicle owners, when gasoline prices may drop. So the relative viability of an electric vehicle will actually be harmed. At the time of writing these lines, oil prices in the West have fallen by 17%-18% in the last month.
As soon as the new government is sworn in, the ministers of finance and energy will already have work to do in relation to the excise tax policy and preventing acceleration in inflation, and also in issues such as the correct and necessary policy vis-à-vis Russia, which requires Israel to be neutral.
But all of this will already be in the hands of incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who may return to a "much more neutral" policy and seek routes to Russia quietly and in coordination with his old-new friend, with whom he recently restored relations, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan - with whom the relationship has almost been renewed In full after 19 years.
Shlomo Maoz's article is also published in Ma'ariv-Esakim magazine, Friday, 16.12