Israeli Natural Gas Starts Flowing to Egypt

17 Janvier, 2020, 17:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Israeli Natural Gas Starts Flowing to Egypt

Israel began exporting natural gas to Egypt on Wednesday under a 15-year deal which has been described by Israeli officials as the "most significant deal to emerge since the countries signed a historic peace treaty in 1979", Reuters reports.

It is hoped that this will open the European market to future Israeli energy exports.

Israel's Delek Drilling LP, Noble Energy Inc. and Egyptian East Gas Co. signed a deal in 2018 to buy control of the East Mediterranean Gas Co. pipeline, which connects southern Israel to Egypt's Sinai peninsula and was initially built to export Egyptian gas to Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the move, saying, "Israel is fast becoming an energy superpower, a country that exports energy". The deal is valued around $15 million.

In a joint statement, Egypt's petroleum ministry and the Israeli energy ministry hailed an "important development that serves the economic interests of both countries".

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Yossi Abu, CEO of Israel's Delek Drilling, one of the partners in Leviathan and Tamar, said the landmark arrangement "marks a new era in the Middle East energy sector". The gas comes from the large Leviathan reservoir off the Israeli coast near the other installation of Tamar. Gas from Leviathan will be supplied to Dolphinus at a rate of 2.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, rising to 4.7 bcm per year by the second half of 2022, according to Delek.

This agreement will also allow Israel to export some of its gas to Europe via Egypt.

During the meeting, the energy ministers of Israel, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are expected to approve turning the EMGF into a regional organization, according to the statement.

Steinitz was in Cairo for a regional gas forum with representatives from countries around the eastern Mediterranean.

The deal is also a lifeline for Israel's gas industry, which has had trouble securing foreign investment for the aptly-named Leviathan since its discovery in 2010.

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