Palestine-Egypt agree to develop a gas field in Gaza

Middle East Monitor  /  October 10, 2022

The Palestine Investment Fund is on the verge of reaching a technical agreement with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to extract gas from the Gaza Marine gas field.

Anadolu News Agency quoted official Palestinian sources saying yesterday that both parties will sign a technical agreement during the last quarter of 2022 that determines the distribution of the shares and the how to market the gas.

The Palestine Investment Fund owns a share of 27.5 per cent of the field, as well as the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), while the remaining 45 per cent will be allocated to the operating company.

Palestinian sources avoided referring to the role of the Israeli occupation in the agreement, saying only that things are moving towards developing the field in agreement with all relevant parties. No details were given as to who the parties are.

Last Thursday, Al-Monitor revealed that the Israeli occupation had agreed to the extraction of gas from the Gaza Marine field, according to information obtained from an official in the Egyptian intelligence service and a member of the PLO Executive Committee.

Al-Monitor obtained information from Palestinian and Egyptian officials about the success of the Egyptian mediation in pushing Israel to allow the start of natural gas extraction off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

The website quoted an unnamed official in the Egyptian intelligence service as saying that, several months ago, an Egyptian economic and security delegation had discussed with Israel the issue of allowing natural gas to be extracted off the coast of Gaza. He added: “The delegation finally succeeded in reaching a compromise that would benefit all parties involved, the most important of which are Israel and the PA.”

The Egyptian official explained that the Israeli occupation requested that the practical procedures to extract gas from Gaza fields start at the beginning of 2024, to ensure its security.

The site also quoted a member of the PLO Executive Committee as saying that Egypt informed the PA of Israel’s approval to start extracting Palestinian gas off the coast of Gaza. He pointed out that this came after political pressures exerted by European countries on Israel to meet its needs for gas alternatives for Russian gas.

The Palestinian official said that under the agreement, Egypt and Israel will supervise the extraction process, and this part of the gas will be exported to Egypt, while Israel will export the bulk of it to Europe via Greece and Cyprus. The financial revenues from the process of exporting Palestinian gas will return to the treasury of the PA, with a portion of these revenues allocated to support the Gaza economy.