An Israeli company has started pumping natural gas from the Tamar gas field in the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt, Sunday, after initiating experimental pumping operations through an underwater pipeline from Ashkelon to Arish.
According to Arabi 21, the 90-Km long pipeline, previously owned by East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which was used in the past to pump gas from Egypt into Israel, has been purchased by Delek Drilling and Noble Energy in partnership with the Egyptian company East Gas.
Since Saturday, the validity of the pipeline, its ability to maintain gas pressure, and whether there were cracks or rust has been checked. Thus, gas will be officially transferred from Israel to Egypt on 30 June.
According to Globus, if the experimental gas pumping procedures go as planned for, gas will be supplied to Egypt in small quantities in early July.
The agreement between Delek Drilling, its partners in the Tamar gas field and the Egyptian group Dolphinus Holdings consists of providing excess supply, which is not expected to take place in the summer due to expectations about high levels of electricity consumption in Israel.
Gas exports from Israel to Egypt will be increased during the winter when commercial extraction of gas supplies from the Leviathan gas field begins.
Egyptian and Israeli partners agreed to buy 39 per cent of the East Mediterranean gas pipeline's shares for $ 518 million, in a deal that will enable Israel to start exporting gas to Egypt, possibly in early 2019, according to a statement issued by the agreeing companies on Thursday.
Under the deal, Delek Drilling, an Israeli drilling company, and Texas-based Noble Energy, which jointly develop Israeli gas fields, are paying $ 185 million, while Egypt's East Gas Company is paying $148 million to purchase a stake in EMG, which runs a pipeline between the two countries.