Egypt hosts launch of East Mediterranean Gas Forum
Egypt hosted the signing of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum’s (EMGF) statute in a virtual ceremony on 22 September, formalising its status as an inter-governmental organisation that aims to foster cooperation between regional gas producers, consumers and transit countries based in Cairo, the Forum seeks to promote the development of a sustainable regional gas market, and unlock the full gas resource potential in the region for the benefit and welfare of its people.
The Forum brings together founder members Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine, and is supported by the EU, World Bank, USA and France, which has applied for full membership. The EU, which has observer status, has provided technical and financial support, given the potential of the region to make an important contribution to its diversity of supply.
Investor interest in East Mediterranean gas has surged since Eni’s discovery in 2015 of the 30 Tcf supergiant Zohr field offshore Egypt, the development of which has played a major role in restoring Egypt’s self-sufficiency in gas. Cyprus and Israel have also made significant discoveries in recent years, with Israel’s Leviathan field coming onstream in 2019. However regional tensions have hampered the full exploitation of resources.
Addressing an EGYPS webinar, HE Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, hailed the event as a “historic day for the gas industry in the region”, heralding an era of cooperation. He commented on the potential of the exploitation of the Eastern Mediterranean’s gas resources in promoting regional economic development as well as peace and social welfare. He added that without the commitment and support of the countries’ leaders, the initiative would not have seen the light of day, and added that the organisation would welcome further applications for membership and observer status.
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