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Natural Gas Putting Israel and Egypt on Energy Leader Board

Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Nicholas Newman Pipeline Gas Journal August 2017

Israeli Pipeline Prospects Politically, Economically Complex

Israel’s desire for increased energy security, alongside the opportunity of importing natural gas through the planned Arish-Ashkelon gas-pipeline in the 1990s, encouraged the adoption of that fuel. Between 2008 and 2012, the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline brought Egyptian gas to Israel. LNG imports began in 2013 via the offshore Hader Deepwater LNG Terminal.

The new millennium inaugurated a series of small offshore gas field discoveries  culminating in the 10.8 Tcf Tamar field that came online in 2013, and  the 21.9 Tcf Leviathan field that will be fully on stream in 2019, (Figure 1.)

Increasing availability of natural gas and its adoption for electricity generation saw consumption rise from 5.2 Bcm in 2010 to 9.8 Bcm in 2016. By 2020, consumption of natural gas is expected to reach 12.5 Bcm, climbing to 18 Bcm by 2030, of which 85% will be accounted for by electricity generation and industry, according to the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, (Figure 2).

LNG imports enter the maritime portion of Israel Natural Gas Lines natural gas transmission system. Offshore gas is collected by pipelines owned and operated by field operators and enters the state-owned gas pipeline network whose 530-km pipelines service major cities, power stations and industry, (Figure 3).

The company is in the midst of expanding its network to serve the Jerusalem area, new towns and power plants that are converting to natural gas.

Reaching Markets 

With the prospect of increasing natural gas supplies from a fully operational  Leviathan in 2019, Israel can satisfy rising domestic demand as well as export to close neighbors such as Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority with whom it already has gas-supply agreements. In addition, exports to Western Europe and Turkey are being proposed. Although access to its close neighbors would be primarily by overland pipelines, Egypt is already connected by a subsea pipeline, and more distant markets could be accessed by subsea pipelines or by LNG tanker.

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