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    Israel, Cyprus and Greece to explore EastMed pipeline to Europe



Israel, Cyprus and Greece will explore laying a pipeline to Europe and EuroAsia interconnector

by: Ya'acov Zalel

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Natural Gas & LNG News, East Med Focus, East Med, Cyprus, Greece, Israel

Israel, Cyprus and Greece to explore EastMed pipeline to Europe

Cyprus, Greece and Israel are going to explore the option of laying an EastMed pipeline from Israel's and Cyprus's off shore natural gas fields to Europe. The declaration was released following a trilateral summit meeting between the leaders of the 3 countries in Nicosia, Cyprus.

"We express our strong support to the export of eastern Mediterranean gas to continental Europe,” the three heads of state – Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, Greece's Alexis Tsipras and Cyprus Nico Anastasiades – said in the joint declaration.

“In this context, we reiterate our readiness to further explore projects such as the EastMed Pipeline. We have agreed to work closely together promoting joint projects, which will enhance the security of energy supply. We invite neighbouring countries to explore possible synergies which can be implemented by working collectively on a regional basis.”

A permanent ministerial committee on energy, headed by the directors general of the three countries' energy ministries, will oversee the feasibility study and also will consider strategic and practical aspects of joint action in the field of energy cooperation.

The three states are also interested in the EuroAsia interconnector, a subsea electrical system that would link Israel with Cyprus and Greece with a capacity of 2000 MW. That project has won the status of European Union Project of Common Interest. Today Israel and Cyprus are 'electricity islands' without backup support from other electric grids.

The three countries emphasized that the partnership was not exclusive and invited "other like-minded actors to join the efforts to promote cooperation" in addition to peace and stability in the region.

Netanyahu's three export options

In a briefing on his way back to Israel, Netanyahu told reporters, according to Globes, a business daily, that there are three options for exporting gas from Israel: through Egypt, Turkey or Greece. The first two options were not mentioned by Netanyahu in his speech in Cyprus, the reporter noted.

However what was not achieved in the summit is a unitisation agreement between Israel and Cyprus that would have enabled Noble Energy and Delek Group to bundle the development of Aphrodite gas field and Leviathan gas field together and open up the export option to Turkey.

Ya'acov Zalel