The Israeli energy company ‘Delek Drilling’ and its U.S. partner ‘Noble energy’ signed an agreement with the Egyptian government to supply natural gas to Egypt, amounting to some 15 billion dollars, in the largest export agreement to date for Israel’s promising natural gas industry. Sources familiar with the details of the agreement noted that the gas exported to Israel’s south-eastern neighbor would be earmarked for Egypt’s domestic market, a reality that could pave the way for wider cooperation between Jerusalem and Cairo and help turn Egypt into an export hub for Israeli gas. The gas will be delivered from Israel’s Tamar gas field, which is already operational, and the larger Leviathan field, which is set to go online in late 2019. The gas is expected to begin flowing to Egypt late next year.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the announcement, declaring it to be a joyous day that will lead to strengthening Israel’s security, economy and regional relations.
“I welcome the historic agreement that was announced on the export of Israeli gas to Egypt. This will put billions into the state treasury to benefit the education, health and social welfare of Israel’s citizens. Many people did not believe in the gas outline. We led it knowing that it would strengthen our security, economy and regional relations, but – above all – that it would strengthen Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said.