Egyptian and Palestinian officials signed on Sunday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a natural gas field off the coast of Gaza.
The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla said in a statement that his visit to Palestine reflects the direct interest of the Egyptian leadership in cooperation between the two countries.
The signing of the MoU came on the sidelines of El-Molla‘s visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem. He met Palestinian and Israeli officials, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Wafa News Agency said, “The partner parties in the field “Gaza Marine” are the Union Construction and Investment (UCI) and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to cooperate on developing the field and the necessary infrastructure, in a manner that provides Palestine’s needs of natural gas with the possibility of exporting part of it to Egypt.”
The memorandum was signed on the Egyptian side by Magdy Galal, head of the EGAS company, and on the Palestinian side by the advisor to the Palestinian President for Economic Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Investment Fund, Mohamed Mustafa.
The two sides stressed the importance of consolidating the unified Egyptian and Palestinian positions towards the need to accelerate the development of the Gaza gas field, stressing the importance of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in facilitating the utilization of member states of their natural resources, especially gas.
For more than 20 years, political considerations have prevented the field from developing until now.
Since the discovery of the Gaza offshore field in 2000, it has been seen as a way to return the Palestinian territories to energy independence. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip currently obtain the vast majority of their electricity from Israel.