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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Class is in session for the EMGF

Gas decarbonization and using LNG as fuel for vessels are on the agenda for the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), whose member countries met in Cairo yesterday for the forum’s first ministerial meeting since the forum came into effect this month, according to an Oil Ministry statement. The seven founding members — Egypt, Palestin, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Israel — agreed to have Egypt lead the forum until the end of the year. Cyprus will then assume its presidency in January 2022, and the presidency for each subsequent year will be determined by alphabetical order. The ministers’ next meeting will be in Cairo in 4Q2021.

SOUND SMART — What’s the EMGF? The forum was established last year to create a “regional gas market” and act as a market platform for natgas producers. Members will cooperate and coordinate policy on developing new and existing resources as well as the buildout of infrastructure.

Are we looking at 2x natgas imports from Israel? The planned pipeline Egypt and Israel have agreed to build to connect Israel’s offshore Leviathan gas field to the Damietta and Idku liquefaction plants could potentially “double Israel’s gas export capacity to Egypt,” Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Reuters. “We’re speaking about a possible 10 bcm annually, but it might increase in the future,” Steinitz said. Egypt imports gas from the Leviathan and Tamar fields under a landmark agreement signed by Alaa Arafa’s Dolphinus with Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Drilling. Leviathan’s offshore gas field came online in 2019.

ALSO IN THE EAST MED: Greece, Israel and Cyprus are expediting work on a 2k MW undersea electrical cable connecting the three countries, and aim to have the first phase of the project up and running by 2025, the Associated Press reports. The energy connection project could set the three countries on track to becoming energy exporters in the region. Egypt and Cyprus are working on their own connectivity project in the form of the EuroAfrica connector, a 2-GW transmission link that will connect Egypt’s electricity grid to mainland Europe via Cyprus and Greece. The link aims to position Egypt as a long-term renewable energy supply hub for Europe.

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