Gas field (illustrative)
Gas field (illustrative) Flash90

An Israeli partner in the Tamar gas field announced Wednesday a deal to sell natural gas to an Egyptian company, as Cairo said it knew nothing of the deal, which it must approve.

Delek said the partners would supply Dolphinus Holdings with at least five billion cubic meters (177 billion cubic feet) of gas over three years in a deal estimated at an overall $1.2 billion (962 million euros).

In Cairo, an oil ministry official said "we did not receive any official request regarding this deal; we don't have any official information."

He added that the "government must approve any deal, and this deal must provide an added value for Egypt."

The gas would be transported through the same pipeline Cairo once used to export gas to Israel and Jordan before it was attacked and crippled by saboteurs.

Tamar holds 250 billion cubic meters of natural gas, and lies 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the Israeli port city of Haifa.

Dalek shares ownership of the field with US giant Noble Energy and with two other Israeli companies.

Offshore gas findings have shifted Israel's supply from costly and unreliable imports to a growing self-sufficiency and the potential to become an energy exporter, recently advancing agreements to export gas to Jordan and Egypt.

The Jewish state had relied on Egypt for roughly 40 percent of its gas needs, but Cairo annulled the contract in April 2012 following a spate of bomb attacks targeting the pipeline.

AFP contributed to this report.