Gaza war tests East Med gas integration and national energy security


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Gerald Kepes

President, Competitive Energy Strategies, LLC


March 19, 2024

Bottom Line:

Given the enormous trauma and the humanitarian disaster that will play out for years, as remarkable as it sounds, the energy impact of the Gaza war may only delay the next tranche of natural gas projects in the eastern Mediterranean region. But should the war intensify to include Lebanon on Israel’s northern border and deepen even further in Gaza’s south, the impact could be to reorient a regional gas grid from a north-south orientation (Egypt, Israel, Jordan and potentially Cyprus) to a west-east, larger network to include Iraq. 

As much as the governments of Egypt, Jordan and Israel may wish to continue discrete growth in natural gas flows from Israel, the vision of a strongly integrated East Med gas play may stagnate, with future Egyptian, Jordanian and even Lebanese energy needs met by other supply sources and different infrastructure. We may yet see offshore Cyprus gas go south into Egypt’s offshore grid, but new investment programs related to Israel and possibly Iraq will create other supply-demand patterns. 

The decisions made and the infrastructure built are likely to determine the type of integration the region follows over the next 30 years.

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