The European Union has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel and Egypt that paves the way for potentially significant quantities of Israeli natural gas to be shipped to Europe.
The trilateral agreement, signed on June 15 in Cairo at a meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), an intergovernmental organization, calls for Israeli gas to be sent to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Egypt. From there, the gas in liquid form will be transported across the Mediterranean Sea on LNG vessels to markets in Europe.
Initially, the volumes of Israeli gas sent to Europe will be relatively low due to a combination of factors, including infrastructure limitations, the high costs of producing and shipping LNG, and the politics of climate change and clean energy. Over time, however, the agreement could spur new investment in gas exploration and infrastructure in Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel and potentially transform the Eastern Mediterranean into an energy powerhouse.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the agreement as “a big step forward in the energy supply to Europe” and “the first step leading to a Mediterranean-wide agreement.”