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Natural gas deliveries from Israel to Egypt have restarted, after several days of no imports at all due to war-related disruptions.
Bloomberg cited unnamed sources in the know as saying the gas is coming from the Leviathan offshore field, following the end of a production outage at another field, Karish, supply from which is currently being used to ensure domestic demand in Israel.
Egypt used to import some 800 million cubic feet of natural gas from Israel before the war began. Following the Hamas attacks in southern Israel and the Israeli response, however, imports dried up.
The Israeli authorities ordered Chevron to shut down production at the Tamar field because of its proximity to fighting and told the supermajor to reroute production from the Leviathan field to Jordan.
Chevron became operator of the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields when it acquired their original operator, Noble Energy. Tamar has reserves estimated at around 11 trillion cubic feet of gas and Leviathan has twice that, according to estimates cited by Energy Intelligence.
Israeli exports from these fields to Egypt secured the country’s growing energy demand and left some for exports to Europe, from Egypt’s LNG plant. With the shutdown and the rerouting, however, Egypt was plunged in a crunch, with daily blackouts at a time of higher demand.
Now that Israeli gas is flowing to Egypt once again, the blackouts may end but exports to Europe may not resume immediately. Egypt’s first order of business would be to secure domestic supply first.
That should not be an immediate problem for Europe, however. Reuters recently reported that close to 30 LNG tankers are en route to the continent and the UK, due to arrive before the end of this month. Egypt, on the other hand, will resume exports of LNG when domestic demand subsides, according to Eni, which has extensive operations in the North African country.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com