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EIA: Natural gas production and consumption has increased in Egypt and Israel for 20 years

Published by , Deputy Editor
LNG Industry,

Natural gas has played an increasingly important role in both Egypt’s and Israel’s economies over the past 20 years, and both consumption and production have grown substantially in those countries. Egypt’s and Israel’s natural gas delivery systems have become increasingly interdependent in terms of using Egypt’s LNG export infrastructure and natural gas feedstock. Egypt has two operating LNG export terminals, which both countries use to export natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) updated Eastern Mediterranean Energy profile. Although both countries export some natural gas, growth in domestic use of natural gas over the past 20 years has limited the volume of natural gas available for export. A number of recent discoveries, however, may make more natural gas available for export in the future.

Natural gas production increased in Egypt starting in 2017, when the Zohr field began operating. Natural gas production from this field was 1 trillion ft3/y in 2021, according to its field operator, Eni. According to the EIA’s energy profile, natural gas production in Egypt totalled 2.45 trillion ft3 in 2021.

Israel is the second-largest natural gas producer in the Eastern Mediterranean region, after Egypt. Natural gas production in Israel began growing in 2013 when the Tamar field began production. Since then, several more natural gas fields have begun production. In 2021, natural gas production in Israel totalled 626 billion ft3.

Two LNG export terminals are located in Egypt, one at Damietta (SEGAS LNG) and one at Idku (Egyptian LNG). The two export terminals allow Egypt and Israel to export natural gas to international destinations, including Europe and Asia.

Increased domestic consumption of natural gas in both countries has outpaced production growth. EIA data shows that in 2021, Egypt consumed 87% of the 2.45 trillion ft3 of the natural gas it produced. In some years, demand exceeded domestic natural gas production, making natural gas imports necessary to meet demand. Israel has historically consumed a smaller share of its domestic natural gas production compared with Egypt or Turkey. Natural gas consumption in Israel, however, has gradually increased since 2012 because of more demand for natural gas in the electric power and industrial sectors. In 2021, Israel consumed 67% of the 626 billion ft3 of natural gas it produced.

Natural gas discoveries in Cyprus and Israel over the past decade that have not yet started production could increase production and export capacity.

In Israel, the Karish discoveries and the development of subsequent phases of the Leviathan and Tamar fields could provide a substantial increase in production once brought online.

Several natural gas discoveries have also been made in Cyprus with promising preliminary estimates. These discoveries are still being evaluated and appraised, and commercial production, if initiated, is not likely to begin until the 2030s.

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LNG export news LNG import news Natural gas news