News Agencies – An agreement signed this week by Israel’s state-owned Europe Asia Pipeline Co (EAPC) and UAE-based Med-Red Land Bridge could see oil shipped from the Gulf to Europe bypass the Suez Canal. The binding MoU aims to use the existing Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, EAPC, which owns the pipeline, said in a statement cited by Reuters.
“There is no doubt that this agreement is of high importance to the Israeli market, both economically and strategically, with joint investments extending a decade into the future,” EAPC Chairman Erez Halfon was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Under the deal, the UAE and Israel hope to create a “land bridge”, which would not only carry oil between the UAE and Europe, but also allow Asian countries faster access to oil producing areas of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Most of the UAE’s oil exports go to Asia.
The “land bridge” would bypass the Suez Canal, and save fuel and other transportation costs.
The Suez Canal is a major economic lifeline for Egypt and there have been reports of tension between Egypt and the UAE ever since the latter established relations with Israel, amid talk of a joint Israeli-UAE “rival Suez Canal”, which could be constructed through Israeli territory.