Egypt and Israel increase oil exports to Europe to compensate for EU embargo on Russian petroleum products

On Wednesday, the countries of Egypt and Israel signed an agreement with the European Union to increase sales of liquid natural gas to EU member states hoping to reduce their dependence on Russian petroleum products.

The deal, which was finalized at a luxury Egyptian hotel, will require Israel to send gas to Egypt to be liquefied and then shipped to EU member states, according to European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, ABC News reported.

“What a special moment,” von der Leyen proclaimed at a joint press conference alongside representatives of the Egyptian and Israeli governments. “I warmly welcome the signing of this historic agreement.”

It is not currently known how much gas will be imported by EU member states from Egypt or Israel.

Von der Leyen said the new deal is part of Europe’s ongoing efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russian imports. It highlights an active attempt by the EU to import hydrocarbons from what is labeled “other trustworthy suppliers”.

Von der Leyen said Israel and Egypt are ideal suppliers because of their good relations with EU member states and since both countries have discovered large supplies of natural gas offshore.

This new agreement will also help Egypt and Israel to increase their gas production and drilling explorations in their territorial waters.

In a separate press conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, von der Leyen said: “It is known that the Russian war against Ukraine exposed our European dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and we want to get rid of this addiction”.

In 2021, the EU imported around 40% of its gas from Russia and has had immense difficulty imposing sanctions on Russian fuel imports since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine by his country.

Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said the new deal was the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to a widespread European energy crisis. She said the agreement also highlights the growing cooperation and strengthening of relations between Egypt and Israel, two nations that were once enemies.

Elharrar said, “This is a statement to those who only see our region as negative forces such as division and conflict. This (Memorandum of Understanding) shows us that we are opening a new path of partnership, solidarity and sustainability.

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla said the deal is “an important step” for cooperation between the three parties.

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Post expires at 4:34pm on Sunday June 26th, 2022