Two gas export deals were signed by Israel’s Delek Drilling and an Egyptian company on Monday, drawing praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. According to Steinitz, the Israeli-Egyptian relationship will likely become stronger in light of the agreements.

The Tamar gas field

The Tamar gas field Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90

An Israeli company announced on Monday that it has signed two agreements worth $15 billion to export gas to Egypt over a period of 10 years. The agreements were signed by Israel’s Delek Drilling and its US partner Noble Energy Inc. and the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings Ltd.

“I welcome the historic agreement that was announced on the export of Israeli gas to Egypt. This will put billions into the state treasury to benefit the education, health and social welfare of Israel’s citizens,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video shortly after the news of the agreements was revealed. “This is a joyous day.”

In accordance with the deals, Delek Drilling will supply the Egyptian company with 64 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. The gas will begin to flow to Egypt when the appropriate infrastructure to ensure its passage to the Arab country has been set up.

“This is a historic day,” Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu stated. “The export deals are based on Egypt’s status as a regional energy center that allows the supply of gas both to the Egyptian domestic market and the export installations, which allow for the development of the Egyptian and Israeli economies.”

According to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, the deals will strengthen the bilateral ties between Jerusalem and Cairo. “This is the first time since the signing of the peace treaties in the Middle East that major export deals have been signed between the countries,” he added.