TEL AVIV (Nov. 19)
Plans for the construction of a Haifa-Elath pipeline for the transportation of Middle East crude oil across Israel to the distillation plant at Haifa have been completed and await Israel Government approval, the press reported today. A French source for the report added that an agreement in principle on such a line was reached between Israel and France after Israeli forces captured Tiran Island which controls the approach to Israel’s southern port of Elath where the oil would be brought by tanker.
The report said that the pipeline, to be financed with long-term credits, would be a 32-inch line with an annual capacity of 20,000,000 tons of crude oil. The cost of transporting oil this way, it was stated, would be slightly more than half the cost of tanker transportation through the Suez Canal. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
The major obstacle to the plan is the anticipated opposition of the Arab states, which are expected to refuse to sell oil for movement through an Israeli line. This difficulty can be overcome, the plan’s proponents say, by sending Iranian oil over this route.