A tripartite deal between the European Union, Egypt and Israel on natural gas exportation has been signed. The EU bloc has been seeking a way to diversify sources of energy away from Russia. The deal was finalized at the East Mediterranean regional energy conference in Cairo and will allow for large exports of Israeli gas to Europe for the first time.
The EU imported approximately 40% of its gas from Russia last year and countries have been attempting to reduce their dependency to sanction Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. The deal was signed one day after the European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi began energy talks with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid. The gas will travel to Egypt via pipeline to the LNG terminal in Egypt where it will be liquified and transported via tankers to European ports. Israel has emerged as an exporter of gas after a few major offshore discoveries in recent years. Two major gas fields off of its coast are estimated to contain 690 billion cubic meters of natural gas.