In the Eastern Mediterranean, large discoveries of natural gas have been found off the coast of Israel and Egypt earlier in the decade. This together with increased demand for gas across the region are now reshaping both production and market demand, requiring construction of a series of new pipelines and LNG import and export facilities.
Consequently, in the short term, Egypt could become an important regional gas hub. However, the most far reaching potential development has now been agreed by the Greek, Italian and Cypriot governments with Israel, to lay a pipeline connecting offshore gas fields in Cypriot and Israeli waters with Europe. If built, the East Mediterranean Gas Pipeline (EMG) will start about 105 miles off Cyprus’s southern coast and stretch for 1,350 miles to Otranto, Italy, via Crete and the Greek mainland.
Meanwhile, in the Gulf region, senior government officials are considering plans to build an integrated regional gas network to supply and trade gas amongst member states including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait but not, for the moment gas-rich Qatar.
Exports to Egypt
In the coming months, piped gas from Israel’s offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields, jointly operated by US based Noble and Israeli based Delek, will be transmitted to Egyptian cities along the Nile including Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. This offshore gas will pass through the Israeli domestic pipeline network to the cross-border interconnector known as the East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) pipeline, before joining the Egyptian domestic pipeline network at El Arish in Sinai.