Israel to build new natural gas pipeline from its offshore rig direct to Egypt

During visit by Egyptian minister, countries agree on project aimed at making use of Egyptian liquefaction facilities to boost exports to Europe

Illustrative: Israel's offshore Leviathan gas platform. (Albatross)
Illustrative: Israel's offshore Leviathan gas platform. (Albatross)

Israel and Egypt’s energy ministers agreed Sunday to build a gas pipeline from Israel’s offshore eastern Mediterranean Leviathan field to Egypt, aimed at boosting exports to Europe, an Israeli official said.

Yuval Steinitz and his Egyptian counterpart Tarek el-Molla “agreed on the construction of an offshore gas pipeline from the Leviathan gas field to the liquefaction facilities in Egypt,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The goal was “to increase the gas exports to Europe through the liquefaction facilities in Egypt, in light of the growing demand in Europe for natural gas,” he added.

The deal was announced as Molla visited Israel, where he also met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi as well as Steinitz.

The energy ministers and their teams met “in order to enlarge and to increase the cooperation in energy,” Molla said in a video released by Steinitz’s office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, Egyptian Minister for Petroleum Tarek el-Molla, left, and Israel’s Energey Minister Yuval Steinitz, in Jerusalem on February 21, 2021. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Leviathan, discovered 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of the Mediterranean port city Haifa in 2010, is estimated to hold 535 billion cubic meters (18.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

US-based Noble and Israel’s Delek, the consortium leading the development of the Leviathan and the smaller Tamar field, struck a $15 billion 10-year deal last year with Egypt’s Dolphinus to supply 64 billion cubic meters (2.26 trillion cubic feet).

Israel began pumping gas from Leviathan in December 2019 and exporting to Egypt the following month.

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