Israeli minister says UAE scrap pipeline copes with oil risks to Red Sea

JERUSALEM – Israel’s energy minister on Tuesday said an agreement with partners from the United Arab Emirates to ship oil from the Gulf to Europe via Israel should be canceled because it has too much. environmental risks.

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar’s objections cast doubt on whether the Israeli government would approve the deal, one of the biggest deals to emerge after the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE. last year.

The agreement was signed between Israel’s state-owned Eurasian Pipeline Company (EAPC) and MED-RED Land Bridge, a company owned by Emirati and Israel.

The idea is for the oil to be unloaded from tankers in the Red Sea port of Eilat and then shipped through Israel via an existing pipeline to the Mediterranean coast.

Israeli officials say they expect high-seas traffic to increase dramatically with the new arrangement, from a rate of six oil tankers a year to more than 50 tankers a year docking at Eilat port near a reef.

The companies involved say the land bridge is the shortest, most efficient and cost-effective route for transporting oil from the Gulf to the West. However, environmental groups, which have asked Israel’s Supreme Court to freeze the deal, say the flow of oil and crude oil tankers is a huge ecological risk.

“I call for the cancellation of the EAPC agreement. It poses many risks to the Gulf of Eilat, to its people, and it does not benefit the Israeli energy market,” Elharrar said in a statement.

She said UAE officials had told her the deal should be viewed as an agreement between private companies and that its cancellation “is not expected to affect relations between the countries.”

UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei declined to comment, saying the matter was handled by the companies.

“I am not authorized to talk about companies and deals and this country or that country,” Mazrouei told reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi.

The EAPC says the new business is part of its routine and it meets the most stringent international standards. It also says that the agreement has geopolitical benefits. (Additional reporting by Yousef Saba in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Edmund Blair, Robert Birsel)


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