More independence from Russia: EU plans gas agreements with Israel and Egypt

Last year, 45 percent of EU gas consumption was covered by Russia.

More independence from Russia: EU plans gas agreements with Israel and Egypt

Last year, 45 percent of EU gas consumption was covered by Russia. In order to make itself more independent, the EU wants to import liquefied gas from Israel via Egypt in the future. The parties involved are now signing a corresponding declaration of intent.

Israel is to deliver liquefied gas to Europe via Egypt in the future. Ministers from both countries signed a declaration of intent during a visit by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Cairo. EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson signed for the European side. The agreement comes at a "very difficult time" for the EU - during a war on European soil, said von der Leyen. The goal is fossil fuels from “trustworthy suppliers”.

According to the statement, Israel will deliver gas to neighboring Egypt, which will be liquefied there and exported to Europe. Thanks to an existing pipeline, Israel has become one of the most important gas suppliers for both Egypt and neighboring Jordan. With the agreement, the EU wants to make itself less dependent on gas from Russia, whose supplies accounted for 45 percent of EU gas consumption last year. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU has increasingly looked for other sources of energy. The war triggered the worst energy crisis in recent years among "our friends in Europe," said Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar.

The EU is the world's largest importer of natural gas. Natural gas currently accounts for around a quarter of the EU's energy consumption. Much of it is used to heat buildings. A 1,900-kilometer pipeline has been in the planning for years in the Mediterranean to transport gas from Israel via Cyprus to Greece and thus to the EU. This route would be cheaper than converting it to LPG. Large gas deposits have been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean, including the Israeli fields of Tamar and Leviathan and the Egyptian Zohr field. Energy companies such as Eni, BP and Total, who want to broaden their gas portfolios and make themselves less dependent on oil, are competing for them.

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