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Egypt reveals reason for importing Israel gas

A view of the platform natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea on 19 December 2019 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]
A view of a natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea on 19 December 2019 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

The Egyptian government announced its reason for importing natural gas from Israel, in response to rumours of Egypt importing large quantities of gas to fill the deficit in the local market.

According to a government statement released on Friday, the media centre of the Egyptian cabinet communicated with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and confirmed that the news regarding the import of large quantities of natural gas, in order to bridge the deficit in the local market, is false. They explained that Egypt had succeeded in achieving self-sufficiency in natural gas since 1 October 2018, and even became a production hub during the last quarter of the same year, reported Russia Today.

The statement revealed that the Egyptian private sector signed agreements to purchase gas from Israeli fields, to be pumped through the pipelines of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, liquefied at the Egyptian liquefaction factories, and then exported to Europe, thus enhancing Egypt’s project to become a regional centre for trading gas and oil.

READ: Israel ‘must seize cooperation opportunities with Egypt’

The statement referred to the increase in the volume of Egypt’s natural gas production, reaching around 7.2 billion cubic feet per day, as well as saving an approximate $1.5 billion annually, previously spent on importing liquefied gas.

The ministry disclosed: “The largest gas field in the Mediterranean has already been discovered, i.e. the Zohr field, which contributes about 40 per cent of Egypt’s natural gas production, and achieves a record in its production estimated at 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.”

The authorities started pumping natural gas from the field, through the pipelines of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, at the end of December 2017. The total investment volume for the development of the field over its lifetime is around $15.6 billion, with a volume of gas reserves of about 30 trillion cubic feet, according to the ministry statement.

It is worth noting that over the past four years, 27 projects were implemented to develop gas fields with investments amounting to $31 billion, at a production rate of around 7.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The increase in local natural gas production has succeeded in covering the needs of economic sectors and citizens, where the annual rate of natural gas delivery to homes increased to 1, 250, 000 housing units, bringing the total of delivered gas to more than 10.7 million housing units since the start of exploiting the field. Meanwhile, 43,000 cars were converted to operate with natural gas, bringing the total number of converted automobiles to over 300,000.

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