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Egypt, Israel near deal on gas from the Mediterranean

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — Egypt and Israel have reached initial agreement on a natural gas supply deal.

A U.S.-led Israeli energy consortium has signed a Letter of Intent to supply up to 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas to Egypt over 15 years.

Platform in Israel's Tamar gas field

Platform in Israel’s Tamar gas field

Under the non-binding accord, the fuel to Egypt’s Union Fenosa Gas would stem from Israel’s Tamar gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Egyptian government owns 20 percent of Union Fenosa, which operates a liquefied natural gas facility in Damietta.

“All parties are targeting to finalize a binding agreement within a period of six months, which will be subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals in Israel and Egypt,” Noble Energy, which operates Tamar, said.

On May 5, Noble Energy, based in Houston, Texas and with a 36 percent interest in Tamar, said the price of the gas would be similar to that sold to other Middle East clients.

In 2014, the Israeli consortium, which includes Isramco Negev, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, reported sales to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. In 2012, Egypt, amid repeated bombings of its pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, canceled a 20-year gas supply contract with Israel.

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