A feasibility study on a potential offshore gas pipeline to Greece will be presented next month, Greek officials say.
In a combined effort, Greece, south Cyprus and Israel are looking at the possibility of a 1,300 km offshore pipeline designed to transport up to 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year to Greece to supply European markets.
Israel, which has discovered large amounts of gas and to a lesser extent, Cyprus are believed to be sitting on huge quantities of natural gas, but have not yet decided how to export it.
The energy ministers of Israel, south Cyprus and Greece, who met in Athens on Wednesday said they would continue discussions. Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz saying the pipeline idea was “promising”.
“…It seems the East Med basin might become the next big thing in natural gas,” Steinitz told journalists.
“In order to enable this we have to think in advance about ways and means of exporting. One of the most promising projects which has been under examination is a natural gas underwater pipeline.”
“What transpired as a very significant issue in these talks is the ability of Greece to become a gateway of natural gas of the eastern Mediterranean to Europe,” said Panos Skourletis, Greece’s energy minister.
Israel has discovered more than 900 bcm of natural gas offshore, with the possibility of another 2,200 bcm waiting to be extracted, Steinitz said.
Several delivery options have been considered including a pipeline linking the three countries, a pipeline to Turkey, or the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities in Egypt for shipment to Europe.
“My policy is that at the end of the day we have to have at least two of these pipes in order to have more than one option,” Steinitz said.