Despite Israeli media reports to the contrary, officials at East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) in Egypt have denied that negotiations are under way to sell additional quantities of natural gas to the Zionist state. The reports came on the eve of a visit of an Egyptian delegation to Israel.
The EMG officials released a press statement which said, “There is an Egyptian decision not to conclude any new agreements to export gas and to give absolute priority to satisfy local needs in the Egyptian market.” The statement added, “The sale price of Egyptian gas to Israel is agreed according to international prices and without any reductions; Egypt has received requests from many countries for natural gas, so the Israeli market is not a target area.” EMG claimed that the Israeli media reports “are an attempt by Israel’s gas marketing companies to spread rumours in an effort to boost share prices.”
In its economic supplement, the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said that officials in the Egyptian gas company met recently with their counterparts in Israel in order to discuss natural gas deals. According to the newspaper, the talks focused on the purchase of two billion cubic metres of Egyptian natural gas for a power plant in the Negev, oil refineries and factories in the Dead Sea area, quoting a price of $5.5 billion.
Egypt exports about one million BTUs of natural gas to the Zionist state at a cost per unit of between $0.7 and $1.25, even though, critics claim, the unit production cost to the Egyptians is over $2.75. Those who are opposed to selling natural gas to Israel refer to the deal whereby Qatar sold its own gas to Korea for $12.10 per million BTUs in January 2010.