Egypt, Israel sign MOU to increase gas supplies

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Nov 2021

Egypt and Israel signed on Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase natural gas supplies from Israel to Egypt for re-export, Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum announced in a statement.

Tarek El-Molla   Karine Elharrar
Egypt s Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla and Israel s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement on Thursday 25 November, 2021. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Petroleum Facebook page.

The MoU also includes the possibility of using the existing pipeline between the two countries to transport hydrogen in the future, the statement read.

The agreement comes within the framework of efforts to expand the use of natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region, the statement added.

The MoU was signed between Egypt's Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla and Israel's Energy Minister Karine Elharrar on the sidelines of the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum held in Cairo earlier today.

Thursday's statement added that both Egyptian and Israeli sides affirmed the significance of cooperation to reduce harmful emissions to counter climate change and maintain energy supplies in the region.

El-Molla emphasized the importance of supporting joint cooperation in order to benefit from the natural resources in both countries, saying "natural gas will play a pivotal role during the next phase of transition from fossil fuels to the use of clean energy within the framework of global efforts to achieve this goal."

Elharrar said Egypt is an important partner in achieving energy security in the region and also to combat the climate crisis.

In early 2020, Israel began exporting natural gas to Egypt from their Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields under a 15-year deal signed with a private firm in Egypt, Dolphinus Holdings, according to Reuters.

Under the deal, the first in decades, the gas is being supplied via a subsea pipeline connecting Israel and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Dolphinus Holdings is using the gas imported from the two fields to supply large industrial and commercial consumers in Egypt, as well as re-exporting some to outside markets, mainly in Europe.

Egypt, which achieved self-sufficiency in natural gas by the end of September 2018, has since then been seeking to become a regional energy hub. The booming of the North African country's gas production was supported by huge gas discoveries and production, which reached over seven billion cubic feet per day.

The giant Zohr field, discovered by Italian energy company Eni in 2018, was one of the most important finds. It is currently producing about 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from 13 wells.

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