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    Israel Exports to Egypt to be Constrained


A shortage of capacity in the previously gas importing nation means that exports cannot be firm, says the regulator.

by: Ya'acov Zalel

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Israel Exports to Egypt to be Constrained

The natural gas export option from Israel to Egypt took a hit last week, when the Natural Gas Authority in Israel published its decisions concerning gas transmission from either Leviathan or Tamar gas fields to the EMG pipeline through the Israeli high pressure pipeline network.

According to the letter, the Israeli network does not have enough capacity to allow capacity bookings on a firm basis, and domestic deliveries will take priority, meaning that interruptible contracts only will be allowed.

Last year Tamar and Leviathan signed two contracts to supply an Egyptian customer with 7bn m3/yr, split equally between them. The Tamar contract is interruptible but Leviathan's is a firm contract beginning when gas field starts up either later this year or early 2020. However, the chances of export seem now to be receding.

"It is expected that [capacity] will only be available during the festival periods, weekends, the autumn and the spring [when electricity demand is relatively low]," the Natural Gas Authority said, following a public consultation period. "In the future, when other natural gas reserves have been connected to the shore and there is no supply shortage, there will be an option for signing interruptible transmission services with low priority for customers abroad, but only during hours in which there is free capacity in the supply system and in the transmission system and the natural gas is not needed in Israel."