CAIRO, March 4. /TASS/. Cairo has no particular plans to import gas from Israel, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt Sherif Ismail said in an interview with TASS Wednesday.
Thus, he disproved reports on Egypt’s plans to import natural gas from other countries.
"Currently, there are some declarations of intentions, which a number of Egypt’s companies have signed with the US Noble Corporation, but I should once again say that those are just memorandums, which have not yet turned into agreements," the minister said. "We intend to import gas from the Eastern Mediterranean and generally speaking it’s not important whether it will be Israel or some other country. It will be done taking into consideration some particular issues and rules," he added.
Sherif Ismail said that the country’s government should make a principal decision on the issue of fuel import taking into account the expected benefits for the country and taking into consideration a number of international factors.
"If all those conditions are observed, we would be able to implement the plan (on the import of hydrocarbons) but so far there is nothing of the kind in place," he said.
The minister also added that Egypt does not intend to resume the export contract made in 2010 to deliver 42 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Israel in the next 20 years.
Also, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said that Cairo plans to sign gas supplies agreement with Russian gas giant Gazprom within the next 2 weeks.
"Currently we’re at the final stage of signing the contracts with Gazprom," the minister said. "According to the deal, Egypt will receive 8 lots of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually within 5 years starting from 2016," he said, adding that the delivery of several lots of LNG already in 2015 is also being negotiated.
"We also want the Russian company to participate in the exploration sphere in the Arab Republic of Egypt in the regions of extraction and exploration operations," Sherif Ismail said.