Israel to begin supply of gas to Egypt and Jordan while planning pipeline to Europe
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Combustion Industry News Editor
Israel’s transition to becoming an energy exporter is moving into a new phase this year, with delivery of gas from its Leviathan gas field to Egypt to commence later this month (after production from the field recently began), and a three-month trial of supply to Jordan having just begun. While the Reuters report is unclear, a successful trial period seems to be a requirement to secure a 15-year supply contract, which the government of Jordan says will deliver cheaper energy for the nation, saving it at least US$500 million (€447 million) annually. Though Jordan is hugely reliant on energy imports (buying in 95% of its energy needs), internal opposition in the kingdom has been fierce. The main opposition party, Islamic Action Front, said of the deal that it is “a black day in the history of Jordan and a crime against the nation and a national catastrophe that makes our sovereignty hostage and the energy sector in the hands of the Zionist occupation.”
Meanwhile, Israel is set to sign a three-way agreement with Cyprus and Greece for the purposes of building a gas pipeline through Greek and Cypriot waters to Italy. The new EastMed pipeline, if built, will provide access to a large and stable market across Europe for Israeli gas, and would be welcomed by Europe as a diversification of sources of energy supply. However, the Turkish government is not happy with the agreement, with Vice President Fuat Oktay saying that “any plan that disregards Turkey has absolutely no chance of success”. Turkey and Libya last month signed an accord on maritime borders between the two countries which includes some territory that the EastMed is proposed to run through. The dispute is sure to be prolonged.