JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel has struck an “historic” contract for sales of billions of dollars’ worth of natural gas to Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday.
“This will bring billions of dollars to state coffers,” he said in a statement announcing the deal with Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
The Israeli energy group Delek said the value of the contract was $15 billion.
It said agreements have been signed between Delek and its associate Noble Energy of the United States to supply 64 billion cubic metres (2.26 trillion cubic feet) of gas from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields to the Egyptian firm Dolphinus over a 10-year period.
In September 2016, Jordan struck a deal to buy 300 million cubic feet (8.5 million cubic metres) of Israeli gas per day over a 15-year term, in a deal estimated to be worth $10 billion.
Tamar, which began production in 2013, has estimated reserves of up to 238 billion cubic metres (8.4 trillion cubic feet).
Leviathan, discovered in 2010 and set to begin production in 2019, is estimated to hold 18.9 trillion cubic feet (535 billion cubic metres) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.
Israel hopes its gas reserves will give the country energy independence and the prospect of becoming a supplier for Europe as well as forging strategic ties within the region.