AN IMPORTANT ISRAELI GAS
NGW wrote, Israel, Cyprus and Egypt will have the capability to become major gas suppliers to Europe, according to Israel's energy minister Yuval Steinitz.
In a statement to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) following a meeting in Athens between the energy ministers of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, Steinitz said that there is a potential for huge discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean.
"In total, together with Egypt, the quantities can reach as high as 9,000-10,000bn m³," Steinitz speculated. "If this happens over the next few years, the Eastern Mediterranean will become an important supplier for Europe, since it will be able to replace the North Sea-Norway, Netherlands and British fields, which are declining."
In the meeting the three ministers discussed a gas corridor to transfer gas to Europe through Cyprus and Greece in a 1,300-km, mostly subsea pipeline. Israel, Greece and Cyprus will decide on the viability of that pipeline by the end of December when the leaders of the three countries are expected to hold a meeting in Jerusalem.
According to the statement, the pipeline should be the "strongest, long-term strategic choice" for Israel. The European Union supports financially the project's study as it might fit its energy security objectives.
Steinitz referred to a possible Israeli-Turkish gas deal and said that energy plans will not change even if relations with Turkey do normalise. "For me it is clear that we must sell Israeli, Cypriot and Egyptian gas directly to Europe," he said. Previously the prevailing opinion in Israel was that Turkey would become the corridor for Israeli gas to Europe.
Steinitz emphasized that Europe sees Israel and the region as an important supplier of gas to Europe.
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