CAIRO — Egypt and Israel agreed Feb. 21 to attach Israel’s offshore Leviathan pure gasoline discipline to liquified pure gasoline (LNG) services in northern Egypt through an underwater pipeline with a view to improve gasoline exports to Europe.
The settlement got here in the course of the go to of Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek el-Mulla to Israel Feb. 21 to “hold talks to support the goals and efforts of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu additionally acquired Mulla, the primary Egyptian minister to go to Israel in 5 years.
Speaking at first of the assembly, Netanyahu stated there was sufficient gasoline for each international locations to fulfill their must grow to be main exporters. He stated the go to was an “important day” for cooperation within the vitality discipline and different fields and he believed this was a brand new period of peace and prosperity.
Sources conversant in the talks advised Agence France-Presse Feb. 21 that the Israeli-Egyptian settlement goals to extend gasoline exports to Europe from the gasoline liquefaction services in Egypt and, due to this fact, meet the growing European demand for pure gasoline.
Osama Kamal, a former Egyptian petroleum minister, advised Al-Monitor, “The agreement has economic, political and security dimensions. Egypt has been [reaching out] for a long time to neighboring countries such as Cyprus and Israel, which have discovered gas fields, or other countries that have potential to produce gas such as Greece and Palestine.”
“These countries do not have a large infrastructure that enables them to exploit the riches they have, while Egypt has the largest infrastructure in its regional surrounding, which is close to all these fields,” he added.
Kamal stated Egypt has two LGN stations, the primary in Idku within the Egyptian Delta and one other one in Damietta within the far north.
“Since 2011, the two stations have been idle or have run at less than their potential capacity. Additional gas supplies would mean that stations would normally resume operations, which would lead to economic benefits and create jobs,” he defined.
Kamal stated the Israeli-Egyptian settlement signifies a severe affirmation of the significance of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in calming the scenario between the area’s international locations that had a dispute over oil discoveries.
“These efforts began to yield results, especially in terms of Egypt’s efforts to support the Palestinian cause and the understandings between Palestine and Israel to start developing the Gaza Marine gas field, which has been idle for years,” Kamal added.
During a Feb. 21 go to to Ramallah, Mulla agreed with vitality officers within the Palestinian Authority PA to develop the Gaza Marine gasoline discipline with a view to provide Palestine with pure gasoline and improve cooperation between the 2 international locations, and export a part of the gasoline to Egypt.
Mohammad Mustafa, adviser to the Palestinian president for financial affairs, stated in press statements Feb. 23 that the “attempts to extract gas have always crashed with the intransigence of the Israeli position. … We are working with Egypt to overcome this challenge and develop the Gaza Marine gas field as soon as possible.”
“Egypt’s intervention is somewhat a source of comfort for both parties (Palestine and Israel) to [better] deal with each other, and for the PA to benefit from these fields in a bid to address its grinding economic crisis,” Kamal stated.
“Egypt’s efforts contribute to calming the situation and bringing about real development processes in the Gaza Strip, which includes tightened security control on the northeastern borders of Egypt, to prevent the infiltration of extremists into the country,” he added.
Gamal Qalioubi, a board member within the impartial Egyptian Petroleum Association and a professor of vitality on the American University in Cairo, advised Al-Monitor, “The agreement between Cairo and Tel Aviv to connect the Leviathan natural gas field to LNG terminals in Egypt comes as a result of the obstacles facing Israel in developing its field. The gas field is located in a geographical area where it is difficult to build a line for production.”
“This is not to mention the high cost of this on part of Israel. Therefore, the easiest and fastest way is to connect the field to Egypt through a pipeline to the LNG stations to facilitate production,” he added.
Qalioubi believes the agreements with Israel and Palestine would contribute to the transformation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum right into a regional group with clear strategic and geopolitical impression, offering many options to all member states.
“The Egyptian state is seeking economic benefits, which entails political benefits that serve all countries and create a convergence of their interests and people. Egypt also seeks to become an open market for gas,” he defined.
“Egypt played this role with great intelligence and political acumen to solve many problems and calm the region, which was on the verge of economic conflict, especially in light of Turkey’s arrogance,” Qalioubi added.
Ramadan Abu al-Ula, professor of Petroleum and Energy Engineering at Pharos University in Alexandria, advised Al-Monitor, “Coordination regarding the energy sector between Israel and Egypt has been ongoing for several years and is moving forward. The recent agreement achieved mutual interests for both sides and strengthens Egypt’s position in the region.”
For his half, Qalioubi added that Egypt and Israel have an awesome historical past of mutual profit within the vitality area.
“We were the first country to export natural gas to Israel more than a decade ago. We also receive Israeli gas through the Ashkelon-Aqaba pipeline that is pumped in the Egyptian market. There are common interests between the two countries that are constantly developing,” he concluded.