In Major Development, Israel Starts Pumping Gas to Egypt

In a milestone development for bilateral ties, natural gas from Israeli offshore gas reserves has started flowing to Egypt, the two countries’ energy ministers announced.

The exports are widely seen as a major development in Israel’s cold peace with Egypt, which has been rooted in security ties but has yielded virtually no trade, investment or tourism ties since the two sides signed a peace agreement more than four decades ago.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56Haaretz

The Israeli gas is being bought by the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings, which has contracted to buy 85 billion cubic meters, worth an estimated $19.5 billion, from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar fields over 15 years. The gas is being shipped via a subsea pipeline connecting Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Israel to the Idku gas liquefaction plant in Egypt for re-export to Europe.

According to Israeli sources, some of the gas will also go toward Egypt’s domestic needs, though the country has stopped importing gas as major new domestic reserves have been discovered in recent years.

The first exports to Egypt follow the start of Israeli gas exports to Jordan from the Leviathan field two weeks earlier, for a three-month trial period. Jordan’s National Electric Power Company has agreed to buy $10 billion worth of gas over 15 years.