Piping affordable energy to Egypt from Israel

Woman standing in field with goats (© Khalil Hamra/AP Images)
The U.S. helped repair a pipeline located under the Mediterranean Sea that supplies Al-Arish (above), an Egyptian coastal town, with natural gas from Israel. (© Khalil Hamra/AP Images)

A Texas energy company helped refurbish a pipeline that is now transporting natural gas from the fields offshore in Israel to northeastern Egypt.

A U.S. agency provided $430 million in insurance that enabled Noble Energy Inc., of Houston, to refurbish the EMG Pipeline, which ceased operations in 2012.

“Egypt welcomes this massive private sector investment and looks forward to the economic impact it will have for the Egyptian people,” former Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said in a November 2019 joint statement announcing the insurance policy.

The insurance comes from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a new agency created by the BUILD Act that partners with the private sector to finance solutions to critical global challenges.

The EMG Pipeline runs 90 kilometers (55.9 miles) under the Mediterranean Sea from the Israeli coast to Al-Arish, Egypt. The pipeline will carry an estimated 85 billion cubic meters (3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas over 15 years, bringing new jobs and affordable energy to Egypt, while fueling economic growth, officials say.

“Strengthening energy security — which bolsters trade, supports investment and improves quality of life — is critical to ensuring lasting prosperity and stability in Egypt,” DFC chief executive officer Adam Boehler said in the statement.

“This project will help the country meet growing demand for reliable, low-cost energy in order to fuel sustained economic growth and create opportunities that have a stabilizing impact in Egypt and across the region,” Boehler added.

DFC’s support for the pipeline project highlights U.S. commitment to supporting development through mutually beneficial investment. The approach stands in stark contrast to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which critics say saddles countries with debt while infringing on national sovereignty.