CAIRO: Egypt, Israel, along with the European Union on June 15 signed a deal to increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries, with an aim to reduce dependence on supply from Russia amid war.
The deal, stamped in a five-star Cairo hotel, will see Israel sending more gas via Egypt, which has facilities to liquify it for export via sea, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.
“What a special moment, I very warmly welcome the signing of this historic agreement” von der Leyen said in a joint news conference alongside Egyptian and Israel energy ministers.
I am grateful that Israel will increase its supply of energy to the EU.
Tomorrow we’ll take an important step, with the signing of a trilateral agreement on gas between Israel, the EU and Egypt.
And we will join forces to help protect the world from a major food crisis. pic.twitter.com/N7DRWfj41K
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 14, 2022
In the year 2021, the European Union imported roughly 40% of its gas from Russia, making it difficult for the EU to impose sanctions on Russia over its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The Israeli gas will be brought via a pipeline to Egypt’s LNG terminal on the Mediterranean before being transported on tankers to the European shores. Israel has two operational gas fields off its Mediterranean coast containing an estimated 690 billion cubic meters of natural gas combined, and a third offshore rig is in the works. It has already signed gas export agreements with neighboring Egypt and Jordan.
Egypt’s extensive natural gas facilities on the Mediterranean have stood largely inactive since the country’s 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
In recent years, the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi rehabilitated and modernized the facilities.
In 2018, Egypt signed a $15 billion deal with Israeli company Delek Drilling and its US partner, Noble Energy to transport natural gas there. Egypt aims to create a regional energy hub.