Eilat FLNG Terminal

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Eilat LNG Terminal was a proposed LNG terminal in Eilat, Israel. There have been no development updates in over four years and the project is presumed to be cancelled.


The terminal is proposed for Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, at the northern tip of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aqaba.

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Project details

  • Owner: Israel Natural Gas Pipelines Company; Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company
  • Parent company: Israel Natural Gas Pipelines Company; Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company
  • Location: Eilat, Southern district, Israel
  • Coordinates: 29.55, 34.95 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 5 mtpa, 0.72 bcfd
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Type: Export
  • Start year:


Eilat LNG Terminal was a proposed LNG terminal in Eilat, Israel. The terminal was going to be used for export to Europe and Asia through the Red Sea.[1]

The estimated cost was US$6 billion. According to the preliminary proposal submitted to Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz, the facility would have been located in the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC's) oil terminal at the port. The discovery of the Leviathan field in Israel, which is estimated to have 16 trillion cubic feet (470 billion cubic meters) of gas, greatly boosted the idea of building the LNG facility. It was planned for 2018.[2]

The proposal was submitted in 2012.[2] However, according to a report published by the European Parliament's Policy Department in 2017, environmentalist groups and residents of Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Eilat strongly opposed the construction of an LNG plant in the port, since Eilat is host to a fragile coral reef.[3][4] Additionally, the report also highlighted that the construction of an LNG terminal in Eilat would have supposed technical difficulties for the maneuvering of tankers in the narrow Gulf of Aqaba.[3] Thus, because of the convergence of public opposition and technical difficulties, and to the proximity of Eilat to Israeli and Jordanian touristic hubs, the construction of the LNG terminal was apparently dismissed.[3]

As of 2023, there have been no development updates and the project is presumed to be cancelled.

Israel's gas use and reserves

As of 2017 natural gas provided 70% of Israel’s electric power. Most of it was imported, particularly from Egypt, through the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline.[5]

Israel's demand for imported LNG began in 2011 following the disruption of Egyptian supplied gas and the depletion of the offshore Yam Tethys reservoir.[6]

The country, however, began moving to develop its domestic reserves after 2011. Israel’s known gas reserves were 30 trillion cubic feet. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2013 estimated at least twice as much could be had offshore that count meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 30 to 50 years.[7] Reuters reported in 2013 that the USGS predicts the greater eastern Mediterranean’s Levant basin could hold up to 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. This would make it one of the world’s largest gas deposits.[8]

In 2010 Israel had declared it would use its natural gas reserves to power cars and trucks, but according to a 2017 study by the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy, the country had done little to meet this goal.[5]

As of 2014, Israel produced over 7.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year, and only exported to Palestinian territories.[9]

In 2009 and 2010, two major offshore gas deposits, the Tamar and Leviathan fields, were discovered.[3] However, although reserves amounting to almost 900 billion cubic meters were found, the exploitation of these resources was delayed by regulatory uncertainty until around 2017, when a final investment decision for the development of the initial phase of the development plan for the Leviathan field was reached.[3]

In August 2017 Haaretz reported that Egypt could open up its markets to Israel gas. In early August 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi signed legislation forming a gas regulatory authority and permitting private companies to import gas.[10] In 2020, Israel began importing gas to Egypt through the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline.[11]

Even though Israel was historically almost entirely dependent on oil and gas imports, the discoveries of the Tamar and Leviathan fields have allowed the country to become more independent by shifting its economy to rely on its domestic gas reserves.[11] In 2023, the estimated gas reserves for Israel were 1,087 billion cubic meters. This has allowed Israel to become an energy exporter, primarily to countries like Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.[3][11]

War in Ukraine and European energy crisis

During 2022 and 2023, European energy markets shifted as as result of the war in Ukraine, creating opportunities for countries in the Middle East to develop gas and oil export projects to meet growing European demands for energy.[12] Although Israel's deposits are large for the country, they're small compared to European demand; therefore, because of the relatively small quantities of gas available in Israel, the difficult topography of the Mediterranean, and the geopolitical complexities of the maritime borders in the region, exporting gas from Israel to Europe has historically proved to be too expensive and inefficient.[12]

However, with rising demands from Europe, Israel and neighboring countries like Cyprus have been looking at LNG as an alternative to export gas to Europe while ridding themselves of the geopolitical complexities of constructing pipelines.[12] One of the cheapest and most efficient way for Israel to export gas to Europe is through existing terminals in Egypt (Idku and Damietta).[12] However, other projects like a land-based LNG export terminal in Cyprus, a proposed LNG export terminal in Israel, and the EastMed Pipeline are additional alternatives to export gas to Europe.[11][12]

Articles and resources


  1. Eilat LNG Terminal , A Barrel Full, accessed April 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amiram Barkat, "Gov't cos want to build $6b Eilat LNG facility," Globes, Jan 10, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Energy: a shaping factor for regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean?" (PDF). Directorate-General for External Policies Policy Department - European Parliament. 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Evans, Scarlett (December 17, 2021). "Israel shuts down oil pipeline deal with UAE over environmental concern". Offshore Technology. Retrieved July 7, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Oren Dori, "Israeli Government Failing to Encourage Natural Gas Use in Transport Sector," Haaretz, August 2, 2017.
  6. Hedy Cohen, "What does Israel Electric Corp actually pay for gas?," Globes, April 10, 2016.
  7. Martin Fletcher, "Israel’s Big Gusher," Slate, February 26, 2014.
  8. Reuters Staff, "Gazprom banks on floating terminal for Israeli LNG," Reuters, February 27, 2013.
  9. "Natural gas - production," CIA The World Factbook, accessed Oct 2017
  10. Eran Azran, "Egypt Clears the Way for Imports of Israeli Natural Gas," Haaretz, August 9, 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Oil & Natural Gas in Israel". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Elai Rettig (2023-03-12). "Israel's Energy Market and the War in Ukraine". Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Retrieved 2023-07-11.

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External resources

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