EU strikes deal with Egypt, Israel to boost gas exports to Europe
Cairo, Jun 15 (EFE).- The European Union struck a deal with Israel and Egypt on Wednesday to export Israeli natural gas to Europe via the Arab country.
“With this agreement, we will work on the stable delivery of natural gas to the EU from the East Med region,” European Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen, tweeted.
“This will contribute to our energy security. And we are building infrastructure fit for renewables – the energy of the future,” the statement added.
The agreement was signed at a meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo by Tarek El-Mola, Egyptian minister for petroleum and mineral resources, Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for energy, and her Israeli counterpart Karim Elharrar.
Israel’s energy ministry said the deal would allow significant exports of Israeli gas to Europe for the first time.
“This is a tremendous moment in which little Israel becomes a significant player in the global energy market,” Elharrar said.
The signatories have agreed to enable the regular supply of natural gas from Israel and Egypt and other Mediterranean nations to EU member states using the existing natural gas liquefaction infrastructure in Egypt, according to Israel’s energy ministry.
The agreement, which is valid for three years and will be automatically renewed for another two, is not exclusive and does not prevent the export of natural gas from the Middle Eastern countries to other destinations.
The gas pipeline that connects Israel and Egypt covers 100 km from Arish, the largest city on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, to the coastal city of Ashkelon, in the southern district of Israel on the Mediterranean coast.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a global energy crisis that has pushed oil and gas prices up, prompting the EU to evaluate its energy supplies.
In a bid to diversify its energy sources and stem its dependence on Russia, the EU has pledged to increase imports from other partners. EFE