The Jerusalemite who by age 32 ran a company worth 7 billion dollars is interviewed by legendary media host.
Yossi Abu, age 41, has served for 9 years as the CEO of Delek Drilling – the Israeli natural gas partnership which has made its mark with the largest natural gas discoveries in Israel, among them Tamar and Leviathan, which completely changed the way we consume energy in Israel, helped to shift Israel to a state of virtually total energy independence, and enabled the transition of industry, power production and transportation to efficient, clean and cheaper energy.
Larry King, the Jewish-American CNN presenter, has launched an informational project about the beautiful aspects of Israel in cooperation with Walla! News, with a series of interviews with leading personalities who are changing the face of the country. He spoke with Abu about the experience of leading negotiations with our Arab neighbors, the regional collaborations surrounding the sale of the Israeli gas and what's at the forefront of his mind each morning.
"Israel has been looking for gas along its shores since the 1950s, and recently we discovered that we have significant gas deposits," Abu recounts, "in 2009, the Tamar reservoir achieved energy independence for Israel, while the large Leviathan reservoir made it possible for Israel to become an exporter. I studied law and economics, but time and experience have made me a 'virtual-geologist' on this topic."
"We found ways to create a win-win situation and do business with our neighbors in Jordan and Egypt," adds Abu. "At the end of the day, we are all people. If natural gas, which is a cheap and clean source of energy, can reach industry and the power company in Jordan and Egypt, then our neighbors will also have another perspective on reality."
"My parents are immigrants from Morocco, and I learned from them to value adaptability," recounts Abu about the manner in which his personal past and present help him to change the face of the future. "My parents came from a different background and met many challenges, and I consequently gained social skills which help me daily in connecting with people in and outside of Israel, and in causing everyone to gain something from working together."
"I am very optimistic about the future," Abu summarizes, "The Palestinians can reach a point where they have the means to produce their own energy and power, which will improve their lives, and that in turn can help us all to create a calmer environment. In another 20 years, Israel will be independent in terms of energy and an exporter of gas, as well as oil, and we will be able to export energy to our close neighbors such as Greece and Cyprus, but also further afield. Egypt will be the key regional player and a regional hub, and Israel will stand by its side."
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