Israel begins gas exports thru Egypt in energy milestone
CAIRO, Jan 15: Israel began pumping natural gas to Egypt for the first time on Wednesday under a $15 billion, 15-year deal to liquefy it and re-export it to Europe.
It is the first time that Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, has imported gas from its neighbour.
In a joint statement, Egypt's petroleum ministry and the Israeli energy ministry hailed an "important development that serves the economic interests of both countries".
It enables "Israel to transfer quantities of its natural gas to Europe through Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants," the statement added.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is to attend a formal launch ceremony in Cairo on Thursday, described the deal as the first of its kind between the two countries since the Camp David accords which led to their 1979 peace treaty.
Israel had previously bought gas from Egypt, but land sections of the export pipeline were targeted multiple times by Sinai jihadists in 2011 and 2012.
The gas from Israel's offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields will reach Egypt through the mainly undersea East Mediterranean Gas Company pipeline connecting the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon with the northern Sinai peninsula. -AFP