U.S.-Israel Energy Summit Held in New Orleans

The inaugural U.S.-Israel Energy Summit was held in New Orleans to highlight the benefits of partnership between Israel and the United States in energy research and development.

Held at Tulane, the two-day summit starting Aug. 25 brought together 11 academic institutions for discussions on how university energy research can lead to new breakthroughs to solve technical, business and social challenges in the energy industry.

It is also seen as a first step toward establishing a U.S.-Israel Energy Center to further collaboration.

Participating were Tulane, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Louisiana State University, McNeese State University, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, The Israel Institute, University of Haifa, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of Texas.

“This summit is a big step forward in our work to enhance the energy partnership between Israel and the United States,” said Senator Mary Landrieu. “Louisiana and Gulf Coast companies are in a unique position to use their unparalleled expertise in offshore oil and gas development to help one of the United States’ closest allies develop its newly discovered energy resources. We are poised to help Israel secure its energy independence and security for years to come and to boost economic opportunities along America’s working coast.”

This year, Landrieu introduced the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Enhancement Bill, to further the collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development — including natural gas and alternative fuels — and seeks to bolster that relationship by encouraging cooperation in the academic, business, governmental and other sectors. She also organized oil and gas trade missions to Israel in 2011 and 2012.

There has also been cooperation between Israel and Gulf Coast companies as Israel develops the recently discovered Leviathan natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast. The field is being developed by Noble Energy of Houston. There was one public event during the summit, a lecture by Peter Evans, vice president of the Center for Global Enterprise. His research explores and explains he structural changes in the global energy industry that arise from new production technologies, increasingly dense transportation networks, and the surging adoption of information technology.

Tulane President Michael Fitts said the summit “incorporates several of my long-term goals for Tulane: to promote interdisciplinary collaborations that address societal, economic and environmental challenges; to develop new areas of technological innovation where Tulane can make a real difference in the world; and to expand Tulane’s global impact.”