Cairo: An Egyptian company will buy $15 billion of Israeli natural gas in two 10-year agreements announced on Monday, marking a major export deal that Israel hopes will strengthen diplomatic ties.
The partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields said they have signed with private Egyptian firm Dolphinus Holdings to supply a total of around 64 billion cubic metres of gas over a decade – with half coming from each field and the proceeds split equally between them.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreements would “strengthen our economy (and) strengthen regional ties.”
His energy minister Yuval Steinitz called it the most significant export deal with Egypt since the neighbours signed their historic peace treaty in 1979.
Israel’s Delek Group Ltd and Texas-based Noble Energy Inc have led both gas projects.
“Egypt is becoming a real gas hub,” Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek subsidiary Delek Drilling LP, told Reuters. “This deal is the first deal of potentially more to come.”
The partners have also been trying to finalise a long-term export deal with a Royal Dutch Shell PLC plant in Egypt.
Noble Energy, which recently disclosed it would sell its US offshore exploration business, called the two agreements key elements of its plan for this year. The company will have more details when it releases results on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said.