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Egypt imports rare LNG cargo amid scarcity of Israeli gas

Highlights

First LNG cargo delivered to Egypt since July

Country looking for alternatives to Israeli gas

  • Author
  • Barbara Fernandez-pita    Clio Ho
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Loades-Carter
  • Commodity
  • Crude Oil Oil LNG Natural Gas Shipping

Egypt received a rare LNG cargo on Friday at its Ain Sukhna Terminal in the Red Sea, S&P Global Commodity Insights shipping data showed Nov. 6, as tight Israeli gas supply led to prolonged power outages in Egypt over the past couple of weeks, prompting its government to seek alternative sources of supply.

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Egypt rarely imports LNG, with the last recorded shipment being a 60,000 mt cargo delivered in July, according to S&P Global data.

The cargo came aboard the Maran Gas Kalymnos LNG tanker, sailing under the Greek flag. The vessel docked at the Gulf of Suez terminal Nov. 3 loaded with LNG and oil. The contents of the ship have been unloaded and the vessel remains moored, the data showed.

The European gas market has been tight over the last couple of weeks after the Israel-Hamas war broke out Oct. 7. Israel has been a significant regional gas supplier since 2020 and is one of the major sources of pipeline gas for Egypt's LNG liquefaction terminals. The dwindling gas balance in Egypt following production declines in 2022 and 2023 also meant Israeli gas has been increasingly used to meet domestic demand.

However, when the Chevron-operated gas platforms Tamar and Leviathan were shut following the Hamas attack on Israel, Egyptian gas imports dried up. This cast doubt over the country's ability to resume its LNG operations. On Oct. 29, an Egyptian cabinet spokesperson said that gas imports from Israel were at zero, down from a previous 800 MMcf/d.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the DES Middle East Marker for December at $15.063/MMBtu.