Malfunction halts Israel's natural gas production

Natural gas production grinds to a stop after a crack was detected in the rig pipe on Thursday. Over half of Israel's power will be generated using coal for the next few days.

Tamar gas field‏ (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Tamar gas field‏

A malfunction in the Tamar gas field off the coast of Israel Thursday morning halted the production of natural gas. 

In response, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz activated section eight of the state's emergency protocol.

This section gives Steinitz the authority to decide which factories will be allocated liquid gas for daily functioning and production until the malfunction is fixed and production of natural gas resumes.  

The Energy Ministry stated that all of Israel's energy needs for the next few days will be met by using coal, fuels, and clean energy sources. The malfunction is expected to be fixed by Saturday.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection stated no fuel had been released into the water around the pipeline and, in the past, using coal to produce electric power did not cause Israeli air quality to drop below the accepted norm.

While the causes of the malfunction have not been fully released yet, one of them is reported to be a crack in the rig pipe. 
Despite Israel committing in the Paris Agreements to produce 17% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2035, over half of the energy consumed by Israelis today is still produced using natural gas.