In a bid to replace Russian energy imports, Israel and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday in a bid to boost natural gas exports to Europe as supply chain disruptions from the Russian war -Ukrainian current cause shortages.
The framework agreement signed with the European Union (EU) will be the first to allow “significant” exports of Israeli gas to Europe, Israel’s Energy Ministry said. Under the agreement, the EU will encourage European companies to participate in Israeli and Egyptian exploration tenders.
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said: “And indeed, we are living a war on European soil and so we are now in the process of completely diversifying our energy supplies away from Russian fossil fuels towards ‘other trustworthy suppliers, and you are those trustworthy suppliers.
Some Israeli gas is already piped to liquefaction plants on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, from where it is re-exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Officials say they expect LNG shipments from Egypt to Europe to increase under the deal, although they said it would likely take a few years before exports can be significantly increased.
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Ursula says: “And I see it as a first step towards a Mediterranean-wide agreement because I see that traditional energy supplies are coming from the northernmost part and are now moving to the global south because you have an abundance of natural resources. You’ve got the sun, you’ve got the wind, you’ve got some hydro, so these are the pre-audition resources that will power the global clean energy of the future.
Egypt is also a gas producer, but its exports have been limited by rising domestic demand.
The agreement recognizes that natural gas will play a central role in the EU energy market until 2030. Thereafter, the use of natural gas is expected to decline in line with its commitment to become a zero economy emission by 2050.
(with agency contributions)
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