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The European Union (EU), Israel, and Egypt have signed a tripartite deal for natural gas exports to the bloc, which is seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

The Israeli Energy Ministry said that the agreement will enable ‘significant’ gas exports from Israel to Europe for the first time.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration on the trade, transportation, and export of natural gas to EU countries has been signed between the three countries during the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) meeting held in Egypt.

Israel Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar said: “This is a historical moment in which the small country of Israel becomes a significant player in the global energy market.

“The MoU will enable Israel, for the first time, to export Israeli natural gas to Europe, and it is even more impressive looking at the significant set of agreements we signed over the last year, which position Israel and the Israeli energy and water sectors as a key global player.”

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By GlobalData

As per the MoU, the parties will jointly work to enable a regular natural gas supply from Egypt, Israel, and other sources to the EU member states.

The gas will be supplied using Egypt’s natural gas liquefaction infrastructure.

The EU will also encourage European companies to take part in exploration tenders launched by Israel and Egypt, reported Reuters, citing the Israel Energy Ministry.

The Israel Energy Ministry said in a press statement: “This commitment is subject to the preservation of the energy security and capacity for supply to the domestic market of each one of the signatory parties, and will not prevent Israel and Egypt from exporting natural gas to other destinations.”

The parties are also considering drafting a plan for optimal infrastructure utilisation, accelerated approvals required to implement the MoU, and to assess the need to build new liquefaction plants.

In addition, the three parties will work to reduce methane emissions while exploring advanced technologies for methane capture and reduction throughout the supply chain.

The three-year agreement also includes reviewing the potential use of carbon capture to reduce emissions while decarbonising the natural gas sector.

Israel is said to be looking to double its gas production capacity to approximately 40 billion cubic metres a year by expanding projects and commissioning new fields, reported Reuters, citing an undisclosed source.