Those responsible for the country’s natural gas receipt and transmission,
particularly Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) have failed to take proper safety
measures to ensure the efficacy of the system, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira
said in his latest report.
While the Natural Gas Authority in the Energy
and Water Ministry oversees natural gas transmission licenses, the INGL has
administered the country’s transmission system since 2003. As of November 2011,
when the system received its last audit, there was no database to display
records of safety incidents and proper risk surveys had not been conducted.
Meanwhile, the State Comptroller’s Office found that the Natural Gas Authority
does not always receive immediate reports from INGL about system malfunctions or
disruptions of gas supply.
In addition, some of the permits granted by
the Natural Gas Authority have expired, and some of the authorizations that INGL
holds are not valid, according to Shapira. For example, the sea line of the
transmission system, established by IEC in 2004 and transferred to INGL for
operation in 2006 and 2007, has been operating without a proper business
“[INGL] has not learned lessons from safety incidents that the
State Comptroller’s Office has examined, and it must act to prevent gas
malfunctions,” the state comptroller wrote.
Aside from lacking proper
safety protocols, INGL has engaged in some transactions that fail to play by the
rules, according to Shapira.
In 2010, the INGL Tenders Committee approved
contracts with suppliers amounting to NIS 160 million, but it also carried out
many transactions that either had not been brought before the Tenders Committee
at all, or were only approved retroactively, the State Comptroller
In response, a statement from INGL said that the company is
carefully evaluating the report, but stressed that the firm has is already
implementing the latest recommendations. It stressed that in only eight years of
operation it has already established about 450 km. of transmission systems for
the country’s natural gas, and is also in the midst of the marine buoy Liquefied
Natural Gas project. The establishment of such a transmission system is quite
complex, and the system complies with the most stringent international safety
and environmental standards, with 99.9 percent reliability of supply, according
to the INGL statement.
“If in accordance with and during this
praiseworthy and intensive work, a number of deficiencies were found that have
not yet been corrected, the company will act to repair them,” the statement