A jump in Egypt's imports of Israeli gas within 3 months - Energy

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Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas remain among the strategic files that the competent authorities in the two countries are working on during the current period.

Egypt seeks to increase its imports of Israeli gas in conjunction with domestic production expansions, which contributes to increasing its exports of liquefied gas to continue the record growth rates achieved by Egyptian exports last year.

The rates of Egyptian imports of Israeli gas increased during the first quarter of this year, after the month of March witnessed a jump in the rate of exports.

The specialized energy platform had been alone in publishing what reported that there were European-Israeli negotiations aimed at exporting Israeli gas to the old continent, after it was liquefied in Egypt, which is consistent with the data of Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas in recent times.

The volume of Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas

Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas recorded record levels during the first quarter of this year, and the average imports for the first three months (from January to March) amounted to 554 million cubic feet per day.

Imports for the month of March alone jumped to about 720 million cubic feet of gas, according to the Oil and Gas Data Initiative of the joint organizations “JudyData”.

Egypt imports Israeli gas
Arab Gas Pipeline – Photo courtesy of the Center for Middle East Studies

Israeli gas exports to Egypt flowed starting in January 2020, following the start-up of the Leviathan field at the end of 2019, according to the weekly geopolitical outlook for energy and economy report issued by the specialized American magazine Mays.

The Leviathan field produces 22.7 trillion cubic feet, and contributes the largest share of the supply. 15% share.

Egyptian imports witnessed an increase recently, recording 430 million cubic feet per day in the second half of last 2021, but they jumped to levels above that during the first quarter of this year, reaching 554 million cubic feet.

According to the terms of the contract between the Egyptian sides (represented by the state-backed Blue Ocean Energy Company) and Israel, Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas are expected to increase by an average of 650 million cubic feet per day, starting in July.

Routes of gas flows to Egypt

The increase in the rate of Israeli gas imports to Egypt last March coincides with the announcement of the Newmed Energy Company to operate another path of flows through the onshore line of the Arab Gas Pipeline on the 4th of the same month.

The Arab onshore gas pipeline is a second path for Israeli gas flows to Egypt, as it was flowing through the offshore East Mediterranean Gas Pipeline (EMG), which connects Ashkelon with the Egyptian city of Arish, with a capacity of up to 7 billion cubic meters annually (680 cubic feet per day). ).

Despite the capacity of the marine line, bottlenecks prevented it from delivering the aforementioned flows, as the line expanded at that time to transport no more than 450 million cubic feet per day only.

The decrease in the transport capacity of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline prompted the resort to the Arab Onshore Gas Pipeline (which was built from the ground up to deliver Egyptian gas to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria).

Why Arabic calligraphy?

Chevron, the operator of the Israeli gas field, Tamar, signed an agreement with the Israeli natural gas transporter and distribution company INGL in January 2021 to begin construction of a new pipeline that will contribute to increased flows.

The length of the pipeline is 46 km, but the company entrusted with the construction work confirmed that the line was not ready for delivery before April 2023, which reinforced the resort to the Arab Gas Pipeline.

With the growing political controversy over the dependence on the Arab onshore gas pipeline “AGB”, Chevron has been examining alternative options that guarantee the flow of Israeli gas to Egypt, after reducing dependence on the Arab pipeline.

Chevron’s options include a direct line from the Leviathan field to Egypt’s 7.2 million tons per year Idku terminal, as well as an onshore pipeline connecting to the Egyptian gas network in Sinai.

Egyptian LNG exports and Egyptian gas in 2021

Egyptian exports

Egypt maintained record levels of liquefied gas exports, as despite the annual production decline by 4% to 6.72 billion cubic feet per day during the first quarter, it doubled the levels of oil burning at power stations to provide more gas exports.

Egyptian liquefied natural gas exports during the first four months of this year amounted to approximately 2.54 million tons, which is a record rate compared to exports for the same period last year, according to Kepler data.

With regard to the rate of Egyptian liquefied gas exports for the whole of last 2021, Egyptian exports topped the global growth levels among the list of liquefied gas exporting countries.

Egyptian exports last year amounted to 6.5 million tons, compared to 1.5 million tons estimated for the previous year (2020), according to what was published by the Specialized Energy Platform last January, citing data from a report by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

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