Israel Shuts Offshore Gas Field as Precaution amid Rocket Attacks

An Israeli Navy vessel passes by the Tamar drilling natural gas production platform during a squadron exercise on May 27, 2013 off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel launched a nation-wide exercise today to test the civilian population's response to a possible massive rocket attack from three …
Uriel Sinai/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: As rockets from the Gaza Strip continued to batter the south of the country Sunday, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz ordered the Tamar offshore natural gas field closed and put the country’s energy infrastructure into an emergency mode.

The Tamar field is Israel’s only operating natural gas source and without its supplies power stations will need to use other fuels to meet electricity demands. In a statement, the Energy Ministry said it was declaring an “emergency situation in the natural gas sector” but offered no further explanation.

The announcement came as Gaza-based terror groups fired hundreds of rockets from the Palestinian enclave at southern Israel. Supplies from Tamar are pumped to the city of Ashkelon through an undersea pipeline from a rig located around 20 kilometers off the coast. Some of the more than 650 rockets fired at Israel since Friday have had a range of over 30 kilometers.

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