(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
Israel is boosting offshore natural gas output and aims to reach
a supply agreement with Europe in the coming months as the
continent looks to replace Russian supply, Trend reports with reference
to Reuters .
The country is on track in the next few years to double
production to about 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) from about 20 bcm
as it expands current projects and brings new fields online,
industry officials say.
Israel currently supplies its own market and through a local
network of pipelines exports to neighbours Egypt and Jordan, while
much of the additional gas is earmarked for Europe.
'The hope is to create a relatively fast working process and
already during the summer to reach a framework agreement,' said
Lior Schillat, director general of Israel's Energy Ministry, during
a recent visit to the drill ship at Karish, a gas field some 90 km
off Israel's coast due to come on line later this year.
Its owner, London-based Energean, recently discovered more
'At the beginning it will be small amounts and slowly, as
production and delivery capacities rise, (the amounts) will
increase,' Schillat said.
Agreements like this, he said, are usually first reached between
governments and deals are then finalised in the private sector.
Realistically this would help Europe no sooner than 2024, he said,
without specifying which countries or groups would potentially be
Choosing a supply route is challenge which requires navigating
the region's politics, but one option would be to export to Europe
via liquefaction plants in Egypt and then pipe it north via
pipelines which are in various planning stages.
A floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility also being
discussed would allow shipments to Europe directly from Israel.
Other possibilities include the proposed Eastmed pipeline, an
ambitious and costly project that would connect the gas fields to
mainland Europe, or a shorter pipeline to Turkey.
Egypt is the quickest route to Europe, an FLNG would offer
independence from any transit country, while a direct pipeline
would provide the cheapest end-consumer price but take longer to
build, gas consultant Gina Cohen said in a report presented to both
Israel's Foreign Ministry and the European Parliament.
'Israel must act as quickly as possible as the window to sign
contracts and become a significant gas supplier to Europe will only
be opened for a limited time,' Cohen said.
Israel, Cyprus and Greece have already signed an agreement to
build an underwater power cable linking their electricity grids and
offer back-up power during emergencies.
Europe due to the war in Ukraine is looking to halt supply from
Russia, provider of about 40% of its natural gas. Russian
deliveries last year totalled around 155 bcm.
Israeli gas would help Europe diversify, along with supply from
others such as the United States and Qatar.
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