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Boosting Israeli Gas Exports to Egypt: A Priority for Cairo Amidst Declining Production and Suspension of Liquefied Gas Exports

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The Export of Israeli Gas to Egypt: A Strategic Priority

The export of Israeli gas to Egypt has become a significant priority for Cairo, particularly due to the decline in production at the Zor field and the suspension of liquefied gas exports since June.

Exploring Increased Israeli Gas Exports to Egypt

The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum is currently discussing the possibility of increasing Israeli gas exports to Egypt. This issue is set to be deliberated at the forum’s ministerial meeting in December, according to Ambassador Christian Berger, the head of the EU delegation to Egypt.

Strengthening Diplomatic and Energy Relations

Israel has agreed in principle to boost natural gas exports to Egypt from the offshore Tamar field. Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz expressed support for this decision on Twitter, emphasizing that it will enhance the diplomatic relationship between Tel Aviv and Cairo and support the strategic energy relationship between Egypt and Israel.

Energy Barter and Cooperation

In a speech at the 2023 National Energy Conference in Tel Aviv, Minister Katz highlighted Israel’s intention to collaborate with Egypt to address the gap in renewable energy production. He expressed readiness to increase gas exports to Cairo, aiming to strengthen energy cooperation between the two countries.

Egypt’s Electricity Crisis

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Egypt has been grappling with an electricity crisis for nearly two months, leading authorities to implement daily power cuts of two hours or more to alleviate the load. The crisis was exacerbated in July last year due to exceptionally high temperatures caused by a heat dome affecting multiple countries, including Egypt.

Uncertainties Regarding the Gas Export Deal

Ambassador Christian Berger did not provide specific details about the gas export deal or whether Israel’s agreement to increase exports from the Tamar offshore field was a step towards exporting liquefied gas to Europe after processing it in Egypt.

Decline in Egypt’s Gas Exports

According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Egypt’s exports of natural and liquefied gas have significantly decreased this year. Data up to August 8, 2023, revealed a 69.7% year-on-year decline in May. The total value of exports, including gas, dropped from $4.28 billion in May 2022 to $3.38 billion in May 2023.

Israel as a Key Gas Supplier to Egypt

Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas in May 2023 increased by 21.3% compared to the same period in 2022. Egypt relies on Israeli gas exports and imports gas via pipelines before re-exporting it upon request.

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