Israel Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, has revealed that Israel will begin natural gas exports to Egypt within four months.
In an interview, Steinitz said the deal to buy stakes in the EMG pipeline between Ashkelon in Israel and El-Arish in Egypt was almost closed and would be completed in “the next few weeks”.
According to Reuters, the flow will secure the start of a $15 billion export agreement between Israel’s Delek Drilling and Texas-based partner Noble Energy with an Egyptian counterpart in what Israeli officials called the most significant deal to emerge since the neighbors made peace.
The deal signed early last year will bring natural gas from Israeli offshore fields Tamar and Leviathan into the Egyptian gas grid.
Egypt hopes to leverage its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure to become a key international trading and distribution center for gas.
Delek, Noble, and Egyptian East Gas have agreed to buy into the East Mediterranean Gas Company’s pipeline to transport the gas supplies.
Delek had hoped for the sale to commence in June. On what caused the delay, the Energy Minister said; “In Israel, we sometimes have a very complex regulatory regime and there were some minor delays, but I think it’s going to be over. It’s already over most of it.”
The Israeli Energy Minister also shared that he expected that more connections could be built between Egypt and Israel.