Israel Finds New Route for Gas Exports to Egypt Amid Gaza Conflict 

Chevron re-routes offshore gas shipments amid Gaza violence

by Motoni Olodun
Chevron re-routes Israel gas export

Israel has resumed its natural gas exports to Egypt after a brief interruption caused by the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip. The gas, which comes from the offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields, is now being transported through a pipeline in Jordan instead of the direct subsea link that runs near the Israeli town of Ashkelon, which has been targeted by Hamas rockets.

The decision to re-route the gas was made by Chevron Corp., the US energy giant that operates the fields, following an instruction from the Israeli Ministry of Energy to shut down production at the Tamar platform for safety reasons. Chevron said in an email that the alternative route via the FAJR pipeline, which connects Jordan to Egypt, would ensure the continuity of gas supplies to its Egyptian customers.

Israel and Egypt have signed a landmark deal in 2018 to export up to 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas over 15 years, worth an estimated $19.5 billion. The gas is used for domestic consumption in Egypt, as well as for liquefaction and re-export to Europe and other markets. The deal is seen as a boost for regional stability and economic cooperation, as well as a source of revenue for Israel.

However, the gas exports have also faced security challenges and political opposition from some quarters. The direct subsea pipeline, known as the East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) pipeline, has been attacked several times in the past by militants in the Sinai Peninsula. Some Palestinian groups have also criticized the deal, accusing Egypt of complicity in Israel’s blockade of Gaza and its military actions against Hamas.

The latest round of violence in Gaza, which began on October 7, has been the most intense since 2021. More than 300 people have been killed and thousands injured in Israeli air strikes and Hamas rocket attacks. A ceasefire brokered by Egypt and other mediators has so far failed to materialize, despite international pressure and humanitarian appeals.

Despite the ongoing conflict, both Israel and Egypt have expressed their commitment to maintaining their gas partnership and exploring further opportunities for energy cooperation in the region. Israel has also started exporting gas to Jordan and is looking to expand its markets in Europe and Asia. Egypt, which has its own gas reserves, has been seeking to become a regional energy hub and a net exporter of LNG.

Source: Bloomberg

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