Israel and the European Union are in accelerated negotiations on the sale of Israeli gas to Europe through Egypt, in the near future.
Drafts have been exchanged between the parties and it is estimated that the framework agreement will be signed during the summer.
After that, negotiations will open between the gas companies themselves.
The urgent initiative to supply gas from Israel to Europe through Egypt is the result of Russia's war with Ukraine.
With the outbreak of the war, in Europe the decision was made to free itself from the energy dependence on Russia, which supplies about 40 percent of the gas consumption of the EU countries.
As part of the attempt to diversify energy sources, the Europeans contacted the Egyptian Minister of Energy, Tarek El Mula, and the Minister of Energy of Israel, Karin Elharar.
Elharar was also scheduled to meet with EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, where the urgent need for natural gas arose ahead of next winter which is expected to be difficult.
Among other things, the Europeans made it clear that if they did not find enough alternative sources, they would return to coal mining, despite the great environmental damage caused by it.
A source close to the contacts told "Israel Today" that "if there are no unforeseen incidents, Israel will sell gas to Europe as early as next winter. This is a dramatic turnaround in Israeli-European relations, similar to the gas impact on relations with Egypt. That has political significance. "
Minister of Energy, Karin Elharar, Photo: Michael Giladi-Ginny
During the talks, Elharar stated that any additional quantity produced in Israel and transferred to Egypt, in addition to the existing agreements, would be sold to the European Union.
Elharar also stated that there will be priority for the local economy and therefore this is an export that will start only after the connection of a crocodile shark rig.
It also demanded that the demand for Israeli gas be long-term and not stop after the crisis.
The parties intend to enter into long-term agreements, at least for a decade ahead, beyond the urgent supply for the coming winter.
It is estimated that in the coming winter Israel will supply a relatively small amount, between 1 and 2 billion cubic meters, because the project to expand the pipes to Egypt has not yet been completed. In the future, the intention is to double the amount within a few years.
Following the agreement, an Israeli-European working team was established at the ministerial level and at the same time coordination was established with the Egyptians.
The director general of the Ministry of Energy, Lior Shilat, who is leading the talks on behalf of Israel, told Israel Today:
The political framework agreement will allow the gas companies to subsequently sign commercial agreements between them. "
Shilat explained that Israel does not have the technical ability to sell the gas directly to Europe.
"There is a pipeline between Israel and Egypt, and under the previous agreement to increase supplies to Egypt, it is condensed. There is no pipeline between Israel and Europe, so the most efficient process is the flow of gas to Egypt, which has two liquefaction facilities. A signal back to gas. "
Were we wrong?
If you found an error in the article, we'll be happy for you to share it with us