Egypt is expected to resume exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in December or January as domestic demand declines during winter and as it receives more gas from Israel, an executive at Italy’s ENI said.
“Consumption in Egypt is reducing and we would expect by December, possibly January, (LNG) exports could resume,” Cristian Signoretto, director for ENI’s global gas and LNG portfolio, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in London.
Egypt shipped 80% of its LNG exports to Europe last year as the continent sought to replace Russian pipeline gas after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, LNG exports this year have been lower as high domestic demand over the summer resulted in very low or zero LNG exports in May-September
Exports were also hurt by reduced imports from Israel on the back of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which pushed Israel to ask Chevron CVX.N to shut the Tamar gas field and suspend exports through the subsea EMG pipeline.
Chevron said on Monday it had resumed natural gas supply from the offshore Tamar field a month after operations were halted.
The field is expected to reach full capacity within a few days, industry sources told Reuters. Around 20% of its gas typically goes to neighbouring Egypt and Jordan.
“(But) we believe Egypt will be able to resume LNG exports even if Tamar does not return to full production,” Signoretto said.
Egypt, the most populous Arab country, faces growing demand for gas from its population of 105 million, having grappled with power cuts that started in the summer and extended to October as heatwaves drove up demand for cooling.
Demand is usually lower in winter as the country usually enjoys warm weather in most winter months.