Egypt set to restart LNG exports after Israel gas flows rise

Salma El Wardany, Anna Shiryaevskaya and Stephen Stapczynski, Bloomberg November 22, 2023

(Bloomberg) — Egypt is set to resume exports of liquefied natural gas following a months-long hiatus after supplies of the fuel from Israel increased.

The Adam LNG vessel has arrived at Egypt’s Idku plant, Bloomberg ship-tracking data show. It kicks off the North African nation’s return of overseas shipments, said a person with direct knowledge of Egypt’s LNG exports. The resumption will likely boost supplies to Europe and add to bearish signals for prices in the continent.    

Egypt had earlier said exports would return in October after a halt over the summer as local consumption increased. But only small volumes were sent out from Idku’s storage tanks last month and plans to boost export remained suspended after major supplier Israel shut off a key gas field in the aftermath of Hamas’s attacks on Oct. 7.

Israeli flows have now returned to pre-war levels, and lower demand in Egypt due to slightly cooler temperatures have freed up some gas for exports, the person familiar with the plan said.

Egypt’s LNG mostly went to Europe last year. The continent is starting the winter with full storage sites, which have helped keep prices in check. Still, it will rely on LNG to get through the coldest months after Russia slashed supply following the war in Ukraine. Egypt is working out how much of the chilled gas it may be able to export this winter, the person familiar said.  

The Adam LNG carrier isn’t yet signaling where it will go from the Idku terminal, according to ship-tracking data. The vessel was on the way to load in Trinidad and Tobago before making a u-turn on Friday to dock at Idku on Tuesday instead, the data show. 

LNG exports from Egypt, the most populous Arab nation with ambitions to become a regional gas hub, could be 40% lower over this winter than forecast a month earlier, according to BloombergNEF. Before the war, Israel had agreed to export more to Egypt from the Tamar field in the Mediterranean.

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