Discovery of a massive field of natural gas off the coast of Israel could transform the Jewish state's economy and even alter the balance of power in the Middle East, the Wall Street Journal reports. Houston-based Noble Energy confirmed yesterday that the so-called Leviathan field has 16 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it the biggest deepwater discovery in a decade.
That has the potential to allow Israel to stop being dependent on other nations for energy and become a "net-energy exporter," writes the Journal. With the nation already an economic power thanks to a powerful technology industry, the additional boost of natural resources could give Jerusalem added financial advantage over its rivals—and add fresh tension to the region. Lebanon, which now eyes its own waters with new interest, and Israel have already threatened one another over potential gas poaching.