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EU, Israel and Egypt sign deal to boost East Med gas exports to Europe

Israel and Egypt will aim to boost natural gas exports to Europe under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Wednesday as the continent is striving to replace Russian energy imports.

The framework deal signed with the European Union will be the first to allow “significant” exports of Israeli gas to Europe, Israel’s energy ministry said, revealing that under the agreement, the EU will encourage European companies to participate in Israeli and Egyptian exploration tenders.

With this 🇪🇺🇪🇬🇮🇱 agreement we will work on the stable delivery of natural gas to the EU from the East Med region.

This will contribute to our 🇪🇺 energy security.

And we are building infrastructure fit for renewables – the energy of the future.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 15, 2022
Some Israeli gas is already sent by pipeline to liquefaction plants on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, from where it is re-exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

I am grateful that Israel will increase its supply of energy to the EU.

Tomorrow we’ll take an important step, with the signing of a trilateral agreement on gas between Israel, the EU and Egypt.

And we will join forces to help protect the world from a major food crisis.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 14, 2022
Officials say they expect shipments of LNG from Egypt to Europe to increase under the agreement, though they have said it would likely take a couple of years before the exports can be significantly expanded.

I’m in Egypt to meet President @Alsisiofficial.

Under our broad 🇪🇺🇪🇬 partnership, we will focus on:

•Tackling food insecurity in the region and in the world
•Extending our energy and climate cooperation
•Ensuring a successful COP27

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 15, 2022
Egypt is also a gas producer, but its exports have been limited by rising domestic demand.

The agreement recognises that natural gas will have a central role in the EU’s energy market until 2030. Following that, the use of natural gas is expected to decline in line with the Union’s commitment of becoming a zero-emission economy by 2050.

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