The natural gas breakthrough in Israel started in 2000, with the discovery of the Mari-B gas field off the coast of Ashkelon. Within a few years a gas induction and piping system were established and a number of large companies began using it. The other discoveries, primarily the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, generated substantial expansion of the natural gas induction and piping system.
Because of the rapid introduction of gas fuel to the country, most of the development work was based on outside expertise and on a limited number of local professionals who underwent on-the-job retraining. It took place without a sufficient basis of orderly academic knowhow, and this was in an industry in which, at the initial stage alone, several billion dollars were invested, whereby the expected annual figure would be in excess of $5 billion and development of the Leviathan field would double the sums.
In view of this development, natural gas is expected to become the main source of energy in Israel. There is a need for engineers who understand and know how to plan, establish and operate the gas system, production from geological sources of gas, planning, development, control and maintenance of energy systems, as well as the planning, development and maintenance of piping, accumulation and storage networks, in particular with regard to all aspects of the Israeli market. These engineers must understand the energy systems and know how to work with an understanding of the constraints, including those resulting from the reciprocal relations that exist between energy and the environment, and between gas and Petroleum energy and renewable energy sources (such as solar energy and wind energy).
The Gas and Petroleum Energy Engineering program graduate will:
- Specialize in the planning of systems that handle, liquefy and transfer natural gas, as well as pumping the gas, allocating it to consumers, and accumulating and storing it within the framework of the Israeli market.
- Understand all aspects relating to energy, from production through to use.
- Specialize in planning gas conversion systems.
- Be aware of alternative energy sources and renewable sources.
- Be aware of the reciprocal relationship between energy and the environment, and of areas relating to finance, efficiency, safety and energy saving. This will enable the graduate to take these constraints, including those resulting from environmental protection, into account with regard to planning and system operation.
- Be conversant with the area of geological Petroleum and gas reserves, and with the production facilities which act as a source of natural gas.
- Be conversant with the legislation and relevant standards, as well as with the issue of reliability and safety of natural gas systems.
The Achi Racov School of Engineering at Kinneret Academic College on the Sea of Galilee hopes to develop close ties with plants and industries who engage in the various aspects relating to natural gas in Israel.