Israel, Egypt agree to build new gas pipeline
Published: Feb 22, 2021 05:08 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks after receiving a vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in central Israeli city of Ramat Gan, on Dec. 19, 2020. Netanyahu got vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus on a live television broadcast Saturday evening. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

Israel and Egypt's energy ministers agreed Sunday to build a gas pipeline from the offshore eastern Mediterranean Leviathan field to Egypt, aimed at boosting exports to Europe, an Israeli source said.

Yuval Steinitz and his Egyptian counterpart Tarek El Molla "agreed on the construction of offshore gas pipeline from the Leviathan gas field to the liquefaction facilities in Egypt," the official said, asking not to be named.

The goal was "to increase the gas exports to Europe through the liquefaction facilities in Egypt, in light of the growing demand in Europe for natural gas," he added.

The deal was announced as Molla visited Israel, where he also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi as well as Steinitz. 

The energy ministers and their teams met "in order to enlarge and to increase the cooperation in energy," Molla said.

Leviathan, discovered 130 kilometers west of the Mediterranean port city Haifa in 2010, is estimated to hold 535 billion cubic meters of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

US-based Noble and Israel's Delek, the consortium leading the development of the Leviathan and the smaller Tamar field, struck a $15 billion 10-year deal in 2020 with Egypt's Dolphinus to supply 64 billion cubic meters.

Israel began pumping gas from Leviathan in December 2019 and exporting to Egypt the following month.

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