Israel Energy Minister Israel Katz has announced that the country will enhance its natural gas supplies to Egypt from the offshore Tamar facility.
In an apparent acknowledgment to concerns that Israel should be preserving its gas reserves for its own use, the minister emphasized that the new exports were permitted after ensuring that Israel’s domestic supply was guaranteed.
Israel has restricted exports despite discovering substantial gas reserves along the Mediterranean coast in order to safeguard its long-term energy security.
However, public advocacy groups have warned that heightened offshore activity and increased demand are threatening Israel’s future supplies. Israel’s budget director also recently warned that exports could endanger energy security.
Last year, Israel produced 21.29 billion cubic meters (bcm; 751.85 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, with just 9.21 bcm (325.25 billion cubic feet) of it exported, according to Reuters. Egypt and Jordan were the two beneficiaries of the exports.
Egypt has struggled to meet growing demand from its population of 105 million, and has seen a decline in its gas production this year.