Israel and Egypt agreed on Sunday to build a new gas pipeline between the Leviathan offshore field in the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to increase deliveries of liquefied natural gas to Europe, AFP told AFP Israeli sources.
The agreement was announced during the visit to Jerusalem of the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, during which he met with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the chief of diplomacy, Gabi Ashkenazi, and his counterpart, Yuval Steinitz.
The purpose of these meetings is “to strengthen cooperation between our two countries in the field of energy and in particular with regard to natural gas,” said the Egyptian minister in a joint statement.
Ministers Molla and Steinitz have agreed on the construction of an offshore gas pipeline connecting the Leviathan gas fields to liquefaction facilities in Egypt, ”Israeli sources familiar with the negotiations told AFP.
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And this “in order to increase gas exports to Europe from liquefaction facilities in Egypt and thus meet Europe’s growing demand for natural gas”, they added.
After a decade of work and billions invested, the Leviathan gas field, “the largest energy project in the history of Israel”, had extracted in December 2019 its first vapors of blue gold with the ambition to make Hebrew state a regional energy “power”.
– Eastmed –
Shortly after the start of production from Leviathan, Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty (1979) with Israel ending the state of war between the two neighboring countries, announced its first deliveries of Israeli gas. via the EMG submarine pipeline connecting the Israeli town of Ashkelon to El-Arish in Egyptian Sinai.
Asked by AFP, a source familiar with the matter said it was unable to know whether the new pipeline would be grafted to the EMG pipeline or whether it would transport gas directly from the Leviathan field to Egypt.
Discovered in 2010, the Leviathan deposit, located 130 km from the coast of Haifa, in northern Israel, contains exploitable resources estimated at around 605 billion m3 of natural gas, according to the Israeli-American consortium which is piloting this project.
Ministers Steinitz and Molla also discussed on Sunday “the supply of natural gas to the Palestinians,” Israeli officials said as talks take place, via Qatar, to supply gas to the strip’s thermal power plant. Gaza.
In addition to its gas deliveries to Egypt, Israel is participating with Greece and Cyprus in the Eastmed gas pipeline project aimed at connecting the offshore gas fields of the Hebrew state to Europe.
The project actually seeks to make these three countries key links in Europe’s energy supply chain while showing their determination against Turkey, which covets the region’s deposits.
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