Photo Credit: Nobel Energy/Flash 90
'Tamar' gas rig off Israel's Mediterranean coast.

The consortium that owns the huge off-shore Tamar natural gas field has signed a seven-year memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Dolphinus Holdings to export of up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas to private Egyptian customers, Globes reported.

The deal is in addition to other sales by the owners of the Tamar and the Leviathan energy fields that have turned Israel into an energy exporter. Previously, Israel was dependent on Egypt for natural gas and had signed a long-term agreement with the regime of Hosni Mubarak. During and after the revolution that ended with his ouster and subsequent arrest and conviction for corruption.

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Terrorists in the Sinai routinely blew up the pipeline through which gas flowed to Israel and Jordan.

Delek Drilling chairman and Avner CEO Gideon Tadmor, whose companies are part of the consortium, said, “The Tamar and Leviathan partnerships have so far signed a series of agreements designed to enable the supply of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority, to Jordan, and for export as liquid natural gas via the existing installations in Egypt. The MOU with Dolphinus is a further, important link in the series of agreements, allowing the supply of gas to the Egyptian domestic market as well. I have no doubt that these agreements will lead to a strengthening of Israel’s relations with its neighbors.”

The sale price of the gas will be dependent on the price of crude oil on the world market.

The Dolphinus Holding company reportedly represents large non-government industrial and commercial gas consumers.

The Leviathan consortium last month signed an agreement worth $15 billion with Jordan to export $45 billion worth of natural gas over a 15-year period.

Jordan has turned to Israel for gas because of the interruptions in the flow from Egypt.

In February, Tamar partners also announced an agreement to sell natural gas to Jordan through a new pipeline.

The exports of natural gas have played a major role in the increase of the value of the shekel until the shekel-dollar rate touched below 3.40 in the summer. It since has rebounded to nearly 3.75 shekels to the dollar because of reports of slower than expected growth on Israel, a cut in the interest rate and anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank will raise the prime rate by early next year.

 

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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