Israel renews gas exploration, plans exports to Europe

Energy minister says fresh offshore licensing round in light of Russia-Ukraine war straining global gas supplies and sending energy prices skyrocketing

Israel is set to launch a new offshore licensing round which will see it export natural gas to both the European Union and Egypt.
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  • Energy Minister Karine Elharrar on Monday announced the opening of a new competitive process for natural gas exploration licenses in the Mediterranean.
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    אסדת לוויתן
    אסדת לוויתן
    The Leviathan gas rig off the coast of Israel
    (Photo: Reuters)
    She said the Russia-Ukraine war has illustrated in recent months the dangers and risks of energy availability and prices during the transition period away from fossil fuel use.
    "Alongside the real and sincere concern in Europe, there is a real opportunity for Israel to export natural gas to Europe," Elharrar said at a news conference.
    "We established a three-way working group with Israel, Europe and Egypt. We will sign, I hope in the near future, a memorandum of understanding that will create the framework agreement for export," she said.
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    קארין אלהרר
    קארין אלהרר
    Energy Minister Karine Elharrar
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevich)
    When asked about keeping gas reserves for Israel, she reiterated that the needs of the Israeli economy will always take priority.
    The Karish gas field is expected to go online in the third quarter of 2022 and in March was connected to the Israel National Gas Line.
    The much larger Leviathan and Tamar gas fields already operate in Israel's territorial waters.
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