Egypt is set to begin importing natural gas from Israel for re-export in early 2019, Reuters news agency reported, under a February deal between Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings and partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields.
“Imports will start in small quantities first and will gradually increase to reach their climax in September 2019,” an unnamed source from Israel’s energy sector told Reuters, without giving details on prices or quantities.
In February, Israeli energy group Delek Drilling LP said that it had signed agreements with its associates to supply 2.26 trillion cubic feet (64 billion cubic meters) of gas from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields to Dolphinus over a 10-year period, a deal estimated to be worth $15 billion.
The deal has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until a few years ago exported gas to Israel.
For the Egyptian public, the deal is shameless and scandalous.
It is worth to mention that after Al-Sisi opened the very large Zohr gas field, the newspapers celebrated and announced the news that Egypt will achieve gas self-sufficiency this year by means of the Zohr, North Alexandria, Nawras, and Atoll gas fields.
At that time, the Egyptian citizens lived this dream until they awoke to a nightmare when Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel was celebrating after it signed a historical agreement with Egypt that stipulated Egypt will import gas from Israel for 10 years.
Netanyahu announced this news to the Israeli people on the anniversary of President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, as he viewed that this agreement poses a new victory for Israel, no less significant than its victory in 1967 and the signing of the peace treaty.
Critics consider the deal, a “major crime” committed against Egypt as a state and against its people. The gas is actually Egyptian gas that was seized by Israel either without the ruling government’s knowledge or in collusion with it.