Many significant gas discoveries have recently been made in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the basin gas resource prospects remains promising. These new discoveries represent challenges and opportunities for the region as well as the world natural gas market. The full potential of the Eastern Mediterranean basin can only be unlocked if suppliers, buyers and transient countries of gas in this region cooperate on developing infrastructure for gas trade, both within the region and with external markets.
Hence, a regional cooperation and a structured policy dialogue is important in order to coordinate the efforts and optimize the utilization of the available infrastructure in the quick monetization of existing and future reserves in this vital region, surrounded by emerging economies in south Mediterranean and huge markets in North Mediterranean.
This outline was the base underpinning the establishment of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum EMGF as a platform for Gas producer, consumer and transient countries.
In 2018, Egypt introduced an Initiative to establish the East Mediterranean Gas Forum as a platform for structured policy dialogue on natural gas, leading to the development of a sustainable regional gas market that could unlock the full gas resource potential in the East Mediterranean region.
During the tripartite summit held in October 2018 at Crete, Presidents of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece declared their intentions to establish the Forum, accordingly, further coordination with regional parties and international organizations took place.
The Egyptian initiative was welcomed and sincerely adopted by the rest of the Founding Members; Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine (together with Egypt) as an initiative that sets the base for a structured policy dialogue leading to the development of a regional gas market to unlock the full gas resource potential and to set the stage for multilateral and full hub trade.