Israeli natural gas flows to Egypt rise as Chevron resumes Tamar production

Salma El Wardany and Laura Hurst, Bloomberg November 13, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Israel’s natural gas flows to Egypt have increased as much as 60% this month, according to a person familiar with Egyptian imports, as safety concerns from the war with Hamas eases and a major natural gas field resumes production.

Chevron's Tamar natural gas field offshore Israel
Chevron's Tamar gas field

Shipments have risen to 350-400 MMcfd from about 250 MMcfd earlier in November, the person said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public. Still, that’s almost half the normal levels from before the war.

Chevron Corp. has started supplies to local customers in Israel and the region from its Tamar natural gas field, the company said Monday. The field was closed last month on safety concerns following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Overall flows from Israel have been creeping higher after Egypt reported a complete halt late last month.

The East Mediterranean Gas pipeline that runs from Israel’s Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip, to Egypt’s Arish is also likely to resume this week, according to three people familiar with the operations. Shipments were being routed through a longer route through Jordan while the more direct EMG link was closed last month.  

Egypt uses some of Israel’s natural gas to meet its own demand and exports the excess as liquefied natural gas, primarily to Europe. It’s not yet clear if the higher availability will result in the North African country boosting LNG shipments since local consumption remains high.

Warmer-than-usual temperatures have boosted electricity demand in Egypt and power cuts are still common. The government’s plan was to resume LNG exports to Europe in October but the war cut natural gas supplies and the hot weather has extended into November.

Egypt’s LNG exports could be 40% lower over this winter than forecast a month earlier, according to BloombergNEF projections. The country shipped 80% of its LNG to Europe last year as the continent sought to replace Russian pipeline gas after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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