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Israel works to ramp up gas exports in light of energy demand in Europe

A rig in the Tamar gas field off the coast of Israel (Photo: Delek Drilling)

Israel is working to significantly increase its natural gas exports in the near future, in collaboration with the governments of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus. While Israel currently exports natural gas to Jordan and Egypt, planned projects would allow for the exportation of gas to Europe and Asia.

According to Israeli news site “Globes,” a source said that the current increased demand for energy in Europe is an opportunity Israel intends to take advantage of: "This has to happen as soon as possible, otherwise we will miss the opportunity and the delays so far have already created global skepticism about us."

One government official told “Globes” that accelerating the development of Israel’s gas exportation capability is crucial: "The aim is that within three years, the scale of exports to Europe would increase many times over and, with it, the tax royalties and levies for the state. We are talking about many billions that may be lost without direction from above, removing obstacles, high-level regional cooperation between leaders and accelerated development."

Projects under discussion include pipelines connecting Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, as well as the construction of two liquefaction facilities—one in Cyprus, and one floating off of Israel’s coastline. Rather than moving forward with the construction of the proposed EastMed pipeline to Europe, the current plan is for Israeli gas exports to be delivered via tankers.

Yossi Abu, the CEO of Israeli energy company, New-Med Energy, said the immediate goal is to build a floating liquefaction facility.

“The next stage in exports is the construction of a floating liquefaction facility, which is planned as part of the expansion of the Leviathan field, and will allow Israel to export gas to European and parts of Asia. This is the most economical and successful solution that will be an alternative to expensive and long pipelines.”

Discovered in 2010, the Leviathan field – Israel’s largest natural gas field – is located about 81 miles off the shores of Haifa. Israel only began pumping gas from the Leviathan field as of 2019.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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