Israel's Back-Up Gas Supply Floats Far Offshore

Israel's navy has invested heavily to create a defensive envelope around the natural gas operations and officials say there is a military response for any possible attack.

But much falls on the companies.

"We reduce the risk by being offshore," said Captain Evelyn Rogge, the ship's master. They sail under a Belgian flag, but the tanker is run by Texas-based Excelerate Energy. "We can leave the area if a situation develops which is not secure anymore. This is a big advantage."

A private security boat circles the tanker at all times. Rogge said they keep a relatively large crew on board, have a heightened monitoring of the vicinity and are constantly communicating with the relevant Israeli authorities.

Rogge would not address each specific threat, saying only: "The security challenges are there and are being met".

In an emergency, she said, the tanker can unlatch from the buoy in five minutes and set sail. Otherwise, the only time it is not on standby is during the three days it takes to refill when its cargo runs out.

(Editing by Crispian Balmer and William Hardy)


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