The European Union signed an agreement with Israel and Egypt to transport natural gas to the continent. The community bloc seeks to reduce its energy dependence on Russia with gas from these two countries and others through the Egyptian gas liquefaction infrastructure.
The European Union (EU) has new partners in the Middle East for the supply of natural gas. The community block signed this Wednesday, June 15, with Israel and Egypt a memorandum of understanding to supply Europe with natural gas. The Israeli gas will be transported to Europe through Egypt, a country in which the resource would be liquefied before being sent to EU soil.
The signing comes at a time when the community club needs to diversify its energy supplies after Russia decided to cut them as the war in Ukraine drags on.
Last year, the European Union imported about 40% of its gas from Russia, and because of this it has had difficulty imposing sanctions on the country ruled by Vladimir Putin for its continued invasion of Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted that they are “in the process of fully diversifying our fossil fuel suppliers from Russia to other reliable suppliers and you are,” added the head of the Commission, naming Israel and Egypt. , which have emerged as gas exporters in recent years after major offshore discoveries.
With this 🇪🇺🇪🇬🇮🇱 agreement we will work on the stable delivery of natural gas to the EU from the East Med region.
This will contribute to our 🇪🇺 energy security.
And we are building infrastructure fit for renewables – the energy of the future. pic.twitter.com/GYFPXwFpsp
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 15, 2022
“It is known that the Russian war against Ukraine has exposed our European dependency on Russian fossil fuels and we want to get rid of this dependency,” the Commission chairwoman told a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdelfatah al-Sisi.
Under the agreement, the EU will help Egypt and Israel to increase their gas production and exploration in their territorial waters, but it is not yet clear how much gas the EU will import from these two countries. The agreement is valid for three years and will be automatically renewed for another two.
The signatories of the agreement to send gas to Europe
Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said the deal is the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused a European energy crisis, and “highlights increased cooperation between Egypt and Israel,” two old enemies.
“This is a statement for those who see in our region only negative forces such as division and conflict,” Elharrar said. “This (memorandum of understanding) shows us that we are paving a new path of partnership, solidarity and sustainability.”
For his part, Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla described the agreement as “an important milestone” for cooperation between Egypt, Israel and the EU. He said it will lead to more cooperation among the members of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which includes Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, France and Italy.
How will the gas be brought to Europe?
According to the document, the Israeli gas will be taken via pipeline to Egypt’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in the Mediterranean Sea before being transported by tanker trucks to European shores, Israel’s Energy Ministry said.
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 platform, which is under construction.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s extensive natural gas facilities in the Mediterranean, which had lain dormant since the country’s 2011 uprising that ousted then-president Hosni Mubarak, have been rehabilitated and modernized in recent years under President Abdelfatah al-Sisi’s government. .
“Egypt, with major recent discoveries, exported 8.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021 and 4.7 billion cubic meters through May this year,” according to Refinitiv Eikon, a global financial and data data software. market. However, most of the exports go to Asian markets.
The head of the European Executive indicated that the memorandum includes other aspects related to the export of clean energies with a view to the future. “More regional energy cooperation between Eastern Mediterranean countries and the EU will entail new investment, shared infrastructure and more open markets,” she said.
With AP and EFE
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