As part of moves by the EU to try to end its reliance on gas supplies from Russia, the bloc has signed a provisional deal with Israel and Egypt for the export of natural gas, the BBC reports.
The deal would see a significant increase in the amount of Israeli natural gas exported to Egypt, where it can be liquefied and then sent on to European markets.
Israel is estimated to have gas reserves of at least one trillion cubic meters. Two routes to bring the gas to Europe are currently under consideration – the Egypt route is one option, while a projected pipeline through Turkey is another.
Russia supplies the EU with 40% of the natural gas it imports.
In March, the EU committed to reducing gas imports from Russia by two-thirds within a year.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says: “This is a big step forward in the energy supply to Europe but also for Egypt to become a regional energy hub.”