Israel to ramp up gas exports to Europe as EU energy crisis intensifies

Gas production in Israel is up a fifth this year


The platform of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea is pictured from the Israeli northern coastal city of Caesarea, on February 24, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel will ramp up its gas exports to Europe as the continent’s energy crisis looks set to deepen.

Global energy prices have soared in recent months as war in Ukraine and pre-pandemic demand have rocketed wholesale prices of gas and oil.

The European Commission estimates that wholesale electricity costs have increased in the first quarter of 2022 by 411 per cent in Spain and Portugal, 343 per cent in Greece, 336 per cent in France, and 318 per cent in Italy compared to the same period in 2021.

Fabian Ronningen, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy, told Business Insider earlier this week that the continent's energy crisis, in particular, is "scary" and set to get worse as winter approaches.

"From one to ten, I would probably give it eight. I think that's how bad it is at the moment. Scary is a good way to describe it,” he continued.

While global price hikes have impacted Israel, the small nation’s domestic gas supplies currently outstrip its needs, leaving it well-placed to increase exports as other countries scramble for solutions.

In the first half of 2022, Israel’s natural gas production soared by 22 per cent ahead of plans to funnel more gas to Europe.

Production also expanded year on year to 10.85 billion cubic metres by June, 42 per cent of which are for exports.

Meanwhile, the combined royalties from gas, minerals, and fees climbed to around 50 per cent to 829 million shekels (over £214 million), mostly accumulated from natural gas.

In June, Israel signed an agreement with the EU and Egypt pledging that Israeli gas will be transported via pipeline to plants on Egypt's Mediterranean coast and then re-exported to Europe. 

Israel’s emerging natural gas industry is already responsible for generating almost 10 billion shekels for the state in the past 18 years.

Further exploration will likely widen the prospects of Israeli gas, and rejig regional relationships along the way.

Earlier this week Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz confirmed that the IDF is “prepared” for a potential Hezbollah attack on Israeli gas fields, in a bid to sabotage Israel-Lebanon maritime talks following reports they are nearing a breakthrough over the disputed Karish field. 

Energean Plc, the Israeli firm holding rights to the field, remains scheduled to begin production in September.

Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar confirmed that the forthcoming Karish gas fields output will help Israel fulfil its export arrangements with Egypt and the EU.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive