Israel will begin exporting natural gas to Egypt in a few months’ time, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday, a key step in the country’s plans to sell its expanding gas production abroad and bolster diplomatic ties, says Reuters.
Steinitz did not give a specific target for initial exports, but said shipments would double after the huge Leviathan field in the eastern Mediterranean comes fully online in November.
Eastern Mediterranean countries meeting in Cairo agreed to set up a forum to create a regional gas market, cut infrastructure costs and offer competitive prices, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said on Monday.https://t.co/g1SRBj43DC
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 14, 2019
Steinitz said Israeli exports to Egypt were expected to reach 7 billion cubic meters annually over 10 years. About half the exports were expected to be used for Egypt’s domestic market and half to be liquefied for re-export, he said.
Israel has discovered vast amounts of gas since the early 2000s, signing deals to export to Egypt and Jordan. Its production, currently around 10.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), is expected to more than double in 2020, rising to 27 bcm in 2021.
In an interview on the sidelines of a regional gas forum in Cairo, Steinitz said Israel and Egypt had discussed how to extend cooperation on natural gas, including through exports.
Construction on a new undersea pipeline between Egypt and Israel could begin as early as next year, Israel says https://t.co/rFAApnbkds
— Bloomberg (@business) January 15, 2019
Steinitz, the first energy minister to visit Egypt since the 2011 uprising there, said:
“Israel exporting natural gas to the Arab world and also to Europe — this is something that sounded like a dream or a fantasy just 10 or 15 years ago.”
The exports from Israel to Egypt will be made under a landmark $15 billion natural gas export deal announced in February 2018. In September, Israeli and Egyptian companies bought a 39 percent stake in the EMG pipeline, paving the way for the deal to begin.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)