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Egypt, Israel, EU sign deal to boost East Mediterranean gas exports to Europe amid Ukraine war

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Egypt, Israel, and the European Union have signed a tripartite deal to increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries aimed at reducing the dependence on supply from Russia due to the war currently ongoing in Ukraine.

The North African country struck the lucrative deal with Israel and the EU on Wednesday which will see it receive more Israeli gas to liquify it for export through the Mediterranean Sea.

During a joint press conference whicu had Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, Israel’s Energy Minister Karin Elharrar, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Tarek el-Molla, amongst others, the EU chief reiterrated the block’s ambition to end its reliance on Russian engery as a result of the Ukrainian war.

“I very warmly welcome the signing of this historic agreement. We want to get rid of this dependency. We want to diversify to trustworthy suppliers, and Egypt is a trustworthy partner ” Simson said.

After the signing ceremony, el-Sissi told reporters the agreement was a very important step in placing Egypt as an important energy hub.

“Today we are already taking a very important step, as we have in the morning signed a memorandum of understanding of natural gas delivery from Israel to Egypt; here the liquefying of the gas, and then the transport to the European Union. But also for Egypt, to become a regional energy hub.”

Details of the deal provides that the EU will help Egypt and Israel increase their gas production and exploration in their territorial waters but it remains unclear how much gas the EU will import from either country.

Last year alone. the European Union imported roughly 40% of its gas from Russia but has been forced to look elsewhere as sanctions have continued to mount on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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