Israel to pump out more gas at Tamar to sate Egypt's growing demand

Israel to pump out more gas at Tamar to sate Egypt's growing demand
Israel's Tamar field has been a key source of gas for Egypt's rapidly growing population, which reached 100 million in 2020.
2 min read
21 February, 2024
Tamar gas field is a key supplier to Egypt [Getty]

Israel has increased production at the Tamar gas field to meet growing demand in Egypt, despite unease over the brutal war on Gaza, according to Mada Masr.

Tamar investment partners, which include Chevron, said millions would be invested in the Eastern Mediterranean gas field to boost production and export facilities.

The $24 million investment will be split into two parts, which include increasing production from 1 billion to 1.6 billion feet a day and developing facilities at the onshore Ashdod site, according to Reuters, with both due to be completed in 2025.

While Egypt is a gas producer it does not make enough to meet domestic supply. Israel, which exports around 90 percent of its gas production, has shipped supplies to Egypt but this was disrupted after Israel's energy ministry ordered shut-in gas production following the 7 October attacks.

The Egyptian intelligence-linked firm Blue Ocean Energy energy import firm recently signed an agreement with Tamar operators to increase supplies to Egypt, which reached a population of 100 million in 2020.

Energy shortages have led to blackouts in Egypt, particularly in rural areas, and impacted Cairo's ability to export LNG, although the situation eased in November with the resumption of limited, although erratic, exports from Tamar.

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Egypt President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi is reportedly keen to stabilise the energy situation, which has been a key achievement of his presidency before the Gaza war. He is also looking to make Egypt an energy powerhouse in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly via a planned Jordan-Syria gas pipeline to Lebanon.

For this, Egypt will need regional stability and Cairo has hosted talks between Israel, Hamas, and other international parties to end the war on Gaza, which has so far killed more than 29,000 people.

Cairo is particularly concerned with a possible overspill of the war with an impending Israeli assault on the border city of Rafah, which could push the 1.5 million population in the tiny enclave into Egypt.

While Egypt remains reliant on Israel for gas imports, the issue remains highly controversial with many Egyptians opposed to normalisation.