The Israeli government has given the approval to begin exporting natural gas to Egypt, according to the Israeli press. Meanwhile, Egypt awaits the result of its appeal of an international court’s ruling requiring it to pay $1.7 in compensation to Israel for halting gas supply in 2012.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz announced in a statement that Israel is set to sell 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Egypt over a span of seven years from the Tamar site off its Mediterranean coast.

Previously an importer of gas, Israel has recently established itself as an exporter following the discovery of the Leviathan offshore deposit and Tamar fields in 2009, which enabled the country to cover its domestic needs and shift its regional position in the resource market.

Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings had signed a seven-year deal with the Tamar partners in March to buy at least $1.2 billion of natural gas, with a minimum of 5 bcm of gas to be sold in the first three years.

Dolphinus Holdings is a firm that represents non-governmental, industrial and commercial consumers.

According to the deal, the gas should be supplied from Israel through the existing pipeline operated by East Mediterranean Gas Limited (EMG). The decade-old pipeline was used to transfer Egyptian gas to Israel from 2008 until 2012 when the supply was halted.