Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas delayed to mid-2019 due to pipeline doubts
Egypt’s imports of Israeli gas delayed to mid-2019 due to pipeline doubts: Egypt will begin receiving its first shipments of Israeli gas in the middle of this year, two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Egypt’s East Gas originally expected trial shipments from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas fields to begin this month, but the sources said that the pipeline still requires further maintenance. Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla also told the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston last week that Egypt will start importing Israeli gas by mid-2019.
Background: East Gas, Noble Energy and Delek Drilling last year signed a USD 518 mn deal for a 39% stake in Ashkelon-Arish pipeline operator Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which was supposed to have paved the way for Egypt to begin importing an initial 100 mn scf/d in 1Q2019. In the time since, doubt has been raised over the capability of Israel’s domestic pipeline infrastructure to handle the quantity of gas agreed in last year’s USD 15 bn gas deal. The two countries began talks in January over the construction of a new subsea pipeline that would enable Israeli gas to flow directly to Egypt’s Idku facility, eliminating the need to expand Israel’s onshore infrastructure.