Ministry of Petroleum officials met representatives from international oil companies British Gas (BG) and Union Fenosa in London to discuss Israeli gas supply to Egyptian power plants, a senior government source told Daily News Egypt.
Israel renewed negotiations with BG and Unión Fenosa, owners of Damietta and Idku liquefaction plants, regarding supplying them with natural gas to export part of the production of Tel Aviv fields through the plants.
Israeli business site Globes reported in February that a delegation from the American company Noble Energy and Israeli company, Delek, monopolisers of the Tamar and Leviathan fields, visited London last week to meet with representatives of BG and the Spanish company Unión Fenosa.
The source said the visit was to reassure BG and Unión Fenosa and emphasise that the export of gas from the Tamar and Leviathan to Daimetta and Idku plants is still on their agenda.
A senior government source revealed to Daily News Egypt that that Ministry of Petroleum officials had travelled to London to several times to meet representatives of Noble Energy and Delek regarding importing gas from Israel. He added that a delegation from Israel had also visited Egypt during the first half of 2014 and offered the chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to supply Egypt with natural gas at that time.
A prominent BG official said the Ministry of Petroleum did not turn down their offer of operating the liquefaction plant with Israeli gas. The official added that the ministry notified them that it will be approved but by supreme bodies, as the decision is primarily political. It is noteworthy that BG signed a letter of intent with the partners in the Israeli natural gas field Lothian last June to import gas for the Idku liquefaction plant, affiliated to the group in Egypt. The negotiations aim for an agreement on the supply of Lothian for about 7bn cubic metres of gas annually to the Idku liquefaction plant for 15 years through a marine pipeline.
The Spanish company Unión Fenosa, owner of the Damietta liquefaction plant, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding importing gas from Israel for the operation of its plant that has been stalled for three years.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI), Shraga Broosh, said in earlier statements that halting the Leviathan development will cost the state 15.5bn Shekels.
Additional reporting by Sally Saad