NEWS

EU in talks with Egypt and Israel on gas

EU in talks with Egypt and Israel on gas

Intensive consultations are reportedly under way between Israel, Egypt and the European Commission over the way to export Eastern Mediterranean gas surpluses to Europe. 

Kathimerini understands that EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson is pushing for a memorandum of understanding to be signed, if possible, ahead of the forthcoming meeting of representatives of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) in Cairo on June 16 and 17, which may be attended by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. 

The MoU entails an agreement to export Israeli and Egyptian natural gas to Europe. How this will be done has yet to be clarified. 

The solutions for Greece include for the gas to be channeled through pipelines that will go either to Crete or to mainland Greece. Transportation as liquefied natural gas (LNG) also remains high among priorities. 

At the same time, Ankara still considers Turkey to be the best solution for such a project. However, the solution that is considered the most viable by all players is the transport of the gas in LNG form.

The question remains whether the LNG will also make a stop at a Turkish port in addition to those of Greece.

The consultations are taking place amid pressure on Europe, due to the war in Ukraine, to diversify its energy sources, and that is one of the reasons why Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar has decided to launch a new tender for hydrocarbon exploration in offshore fields, despite the fact that just a year ago such a prospect was ruled out. Commenting on the MoU between Israel, Egypt and the Commission, she said it will allow for the existence of the infrastructure for the transportation of Israeli gas via Egypt.

She also stressed that the agreement will allow companies that trade in natural gas to enter into their own agreements for the export of Israeli gas to Egypt and from there for liquefaction and transport to Europe.