Egyptian, Israeli firms sign $15bn natural gas deal

Israel to export $15bn worth of natural gas to Egypt over 10-year period.

    An Israeli gas platform west of Israel's port city of Ashdod [File: Amir Cohen/Reuters]
    An Israeli gas platform west of Israel's port city of Ashdod [File: Amir Cohen/Reuters]

    Israeli company Delek Drilling has announced it will supply Egypt with $15bn worth of natural gas in the biggest export deal to date for Israel's natural gas industry.

    Egyptian company Dolphinus will buy 64 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Delek Drilling and its US partner Noble during a 10-year period, a statement released on Monday said. 

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the "historic" agreement. 

    "This will bring billions into the country's coffers," he said in a statement. 

    Netanyahu said the deal would "strengthen [Israel's] security, our economy, and also strengthen our regional relationships". 

    Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said the agreement would "establish Egypt's status as a regional energy centre". 

    Pending pipelines

    The companies have yet to determine what route the natural gas from Israel's Mediterranean Tamar and Leviathan fields will flow to Egypt. Delek's statement said "various possibilities" exist, including the use of the EMG pipeline.

    Running from al-Arish in North Sinai, Egypt to Ashkelon, Israel, the EMG pipeline formerly transported natural gas from Egypt, which has its own reserves, to Israel under a 20-year contract signed in 2005.

    The deal collapsed in 2012, however, after the pipeline was repeatedly attacked. The Hosni Mubarak-era agreement was unpopular with critics who argued the Jewish state did not pay enough for the gas. 

    Israel discovered its Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and has since made efforts to become an exporter itself. In September 2016, Israeli and Jordanian firms signed a $10bn gas deal over 15 years. 

    Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.