Landmark gas shipments from Israel to Egypt will begin by the end of the year, according to Egypt’s oil minister Tarek El Molla who says the deal is “progressing as planned.”

But it’s not clear what plan he’s referring to: flows were originally slated to begin by March this year with initial gas coming from the producing 11tcf Tamar field. This was then put back to ‘by June,’ with US firm Noble and its Israeli partner Delek – the key players at both Tamar and the under-development 22tcf Leviathan field offshore Israel – saying in May that commercial flows would not begin until Leviathan comes online at end-2019 (MEES, 10 May). Ostensibly the key reason is a lack of spare gas from Tamar. However there remain additional outstanding issues for first deliveries under the politically-charged deal. (CONTINUED - 1118 WORDS)