Israel pushes to revive EastMed project
Israel has refloated the prospect of building the EastMed gas pipeline to transport additional gas quantities into Europe, Ekathimerini reported May 31.
The €6bn ($6.9bn) project would enable gas flows to the EU via Greece from offshore Israel and Cyprus. A formal agreement between the three countries was struck in 2020, however they suffered a major setback in January 2022 when the US withdrew its support. Even after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February, throwing the European gas market into disarray, US under secretary of state Victoria Nuland said in April that the pipeline was too expensive, not economically viable and would take too long to build to help with Europe's energy crisis.
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Israel exports some gas already to Jordan and Egypt from the Leviathan offshore gas field. The government announced last week it would hold another licensing round for offshore gas acreage, to spur exploration for extra gas that can be delivered to Europe via EastMed. An MoU to revive EastMed could now be signed by Israel, Egypt and the EU within weeks, though questions on financing remain, Israel's energy minister Karine Elharrar told Globes newspaper.
"Examination of the EastMed pipeline to Europe continues, and the question is whether it would be economically worthwhile to build the pipeline," Elharrar said.
Israel is also looking at acquiring a floating LNG export terminal to send gas to Europe, or it could send extra gas supply to Egypt where it could be liquefied.