Delek hopes to start gas exports to Egypt by the end of June
Delek looks set to meet its end-of-June target to start gas exports to Egypt: Israel’s Delek Drilling is on track to begin commercial sales of natural gas to Egypt by the end of the month, with technical testing on the pipelines that will carry the gas currently underway, Deputy CEO Yossi Gvura tells Reuters. Trial shipments from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas fields were originally supposed to come in March of this year, but capacity restrictions posed by Israel’s domestic pipeline network meant that the imports had to be delayed.
Background: Under the terms of a USD 15 bn contract signed last year, Delek and its partner Noble Energy should supply Alaa Arafa-led Dolphinus Holding with 3.5 bcm from each of the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields for a combined total of 7 bcm. Delek, Noble and Egypt’s East Gas signed a USD 518 mn agreement for a 39% stake in Ashkelon-Arish pipeline operator Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG), intended to pave the way for Egypt to begin importing an initial 100 mn scf/d in 1Q2019. Israel and Egypt then 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. Bloomberg reported in March that Delek executives were talks with Egyptian officials over increasing exports beyond 7 bcm, although no figures were given.
*** Speaking of natural gas: This is not political satire. Officials at the US Department of Energy are referring to American LNG as “freedom gas” and “molecules of US freedom.” We [redacted] you not.