Israel began exporting natural gas to Egypt on Wednesday under a 15-year deal which has been described by Israeli officials as the most significant deal to emerge since the countries signed a historic peace treaty in 1979, Reuters reports.
A private Egyptian company, Dolphinus Holdings, will purchase 85 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, worth an estimated $19.5 billion, from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields over the course of 15 years.
Israel will initially export 200 million cubic feet of gas per day to Egypt, two Egyptian industry sources told Reuters.
Gas from Leviathan will be supplied to Dolphinus at a rate of 2.1 bcm per year, rising to 4.7 bcm per year by the second half of 2022, according to Delek, the news agency reported.
Egypt is hoping the deal will help it become the focal point of a regional natural gas hub, including Cyprus.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, some of the gas will go toward Egypt’s domestic needs, while part of it is expected to be re-exported to Europe through liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.
The North African country is currently exporting one billion cubic feet of gas to Europe every month via 10 shipments, Egypt’s petroleum minister said in remarks published on Wednesday, and cited by Reuters.
The Israel-Egypt gas deal went into effect shortly after another deal between Israel and Jordan was put into motion.
Palestinians worry that further normalization between Arab countries and Israel will continue to undermine the Palestinian cause and further isolate Palestinians in their seven-decade quest for freedom.
Source: Palestine Chronicle