Energy diplomacy, regulation of the single energy market and the export of this regulatory model to EU’s vicinity govern EU energy affairs. This governance nexus, however, suffers from three distinct shortcomings. This paper addresses these in the context of EU external energy governance vis-à-vis Egypt. Firstly, it highlights how geopolitical rationales blur the commercial logic in pipeline politics, derail gas schemes, and marginalize Egypt despite its pivotal energy role. Secondly, it showcases how the three governance modes contradict each other and add layers of contingencies in EU-Egypt gas trade. Thirdly, it questions EU’s hierarchal approach to Egypt, demonstrating how the EU suffers from a clear misconception of Egypt’s role and interests, and hence fails to tap into Egypt’s gas assets.