Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects an oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel to be reopened in the near future after being closed when Israel became a state in 1948.
"It won't be long when you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa," the port city in Northern Israel, Netanyahu told a group of British investors, declining to give a timetable.
"It is just a matter of time until the pipleline is reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean."
Netanyahu later told Reuters the government is in the early stages of looking into the possibility of reopening the pipeline, which during the British Mandate sent oil from Mosul to Haifa via Jordan. "It's not a pipe-dream," Netanyahu said.
In April, a source at the National Infrastructure Ministry told Reuters Israel and Jordan would hold talks on reopening the pipeline, which Israel believes would lower fuel costs by 25 percent.
The source said that the Israeli section of the pipeline was in good condition but did not know about the Jordanian section.
Jordanian officials denied they would meet Israeli officials, citing cold relations with the Jewish State since the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in late 2000.
Separately, Netanyahu told reporters that British Finance Minister Gordon Brown asked that Israel consider buying natural gas from British Gas, which found gas off the Gaza coast.
"I told him we would consider it as an auxillary supplier to other suppliers," Netanyahu said. "We always want to diversify. But I want an understanding there would be no political pressure."
Israel had planned to buy its natural gas from Israeli suppliers, which discovered commercial quantities of gas off Israel's coast, and from Egypt.
But earlier this month Egypt said it wanted to renegotiate its contract, prompting Israeli officials to believe Egypt did not want to sell to Israel.
As a result, Israel turned to British Gas and the Infrastructure Minister ordered state-owned Israel Electric Corp to hold talks with British Gas over the supply of gas so that it will have two suppliers for its gas turbines.