Israel and Egypt will seek to increase natural gas exports to Europe under a memorandum of understanding signed this Wednesday as the continent attempts to replace energy imports from Russia, Reuters reported today, June 15.
The framework agreement signed with the European Union will be the first to allow “significant” Israeli gas exports to Europe, Israel’s Energy Ministry said.
Under the agreement, the EU will encourage European companies to participate in exploration tenders in Israel and Egypt.
Some Israeli gas is already being pipelined to liquefaction plants on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, from where it is re-exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
European officials, speaking to a British news agency on condition of anonymity, said they expect an increase in LNG supplies from the largest Arab republic to Europe in accordance with the agreement, “although it will probably take a couple of years before exports can be significantly expanded.”
Egypt is also a gas producer, but its exports are limited by growing domestic demand, Reuters notes.
“Today, Egypt and Israel have committed to sharing our natural gas with Europe and helping with the energy crisis,” the Israeli Energy Minister said. Karin Elharrar following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Cairo.
The agreement emphasizes that natural gas will play a central role in the EU energy market until 2030. After that, the use of blue fuels on the continent is expected to decline in line with the EU’s commitment to become a zero-emission economy by 2050.
The European Union wants to strengthen its energy cooperation with Israel in light of the fact that Russia is using gas supplies to “blackmail” foreign partners, as reported, said the day before, June 14, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. “The Kremlin used our dependence on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us,” she said in a speech at Ben Gurion University in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva.