Feb. 22, 2018
Egypt Gas Deal a Cause for Celebration – Editorial
Celebration is in order after the operators of the Tamar and Leviathan natural-gas fields off Israel’s coast signed a $15 billion deal with an Egyptian consortium in Israel’s biggest gas export deal to date. The claim that no Arab neighbor would be willing to enter into an agreement with Israel was wrong. As soon as a proper pipeline is set up, the Israeli gas will be transferred to Egypt where it will be liquefied and exported to Europe.
Geopolitically, the deal fortifies commercial ties with Egypt and provides an example of how it is possible to do business with the Jewish state. Israel signed a deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company in 2016. Now two Arab countries that share borders with Israel shared an appreciation of Israel’s contribution to their own well-being. Additional export deals are reportedly in the offing with Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Cyprus.
The Egyptian sale will provide funding to develop the Leviathan field, which still has not begun producing. The deal also provides Israel with additional tax revenues.
Skeptics have claimed that exporting gas will mean that less is left for Israel. However, less than half is slated for export, and Israel has enough gas to provide its needs for about 50 years, even if no new reserves are discovered. (Jerusalem Post)