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Israeli Gas Exports to Neighbors Soar Despite Gaza Conflict

As the war rages on in Gaza, Israel has reported that its gas supplies to Egypt and Jordan soared by 25% last year, despite the temporary halt of one of Israel's offshore gas fields due to the conflict in October. 

On Monday, Israel not only said that gas supplies to both Egypt and Jordan had increased by one-quarter, but that exports would be boosted further, in line with Israel's ambitions of becoming an important energy hub supplying Europe. 

Europe is a potential destination for Israeli gas via liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Egypt or potentially new facilities at home. 

"The dramatic growth in natural gas exports to Egypt and Jordan proves just how much the natural gas market is a strategic asset for Israel and helps regional stability," Israel's Energy Minister Eli Cohen said in a statement.

In October last year, the smaller of Israel's two producing offshore gas fields-Tamar-was shut down for a month as Israel launched a war of retaliation against Hamas in Gaza. That shut-in reduced Tamar production by 11% in the third quarter. 

For full-year 2023, Tamar exported 2.56 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the bulk of which went to Egypt, Reuters reports. 

Israel's largest offshore gas field, Leviathan, which is now operated by Chevron, was 

Israel discovered two offshore gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean were discovered in 2010, with production launching in 2013, putting the country on the energy map for the first time and turning Israel into an exporter. The Leviathan field is now operated by Chevron. 

For 2023, year-on-year, Israel saw a nearly 14% increase in gas production from its offshore fields, bringing in over $600 million in royalties for its new sovereign wealth fund, Reuters reports, with the government now targeting up to $12 billion for the fund over the next decade from taxes and profits.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com More