Collaboration between Cyprus and Israel to build a gas pipeline underway

Cyprus and Israel are working on an agreement to build a pipeline to transport natural gas from both countries to an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean.

Under the new agreement, the gas will be liquefied for export by sea to Europe and possibly other countries, Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou said on Monday.

Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou announced that he would soon visit Israel to prepare the terms of the agreement. It is expected that after the signing, the pipeline will be completed within 18 months.

In addition, it will take two and a half years to build a liquefaction plant in Cyprus after receiving proposals from investors.

So far, five huge gas fields have been discovered off the southern coast of Cyprus, and there are 11 gas fields in Israel: the largest, called Leviathan, contains about 22 trillion cubic feet (623 billion cubic meters) of gas.

Papanastasiou announced that later this month he will meet with energy companies that hold oil and gas exploration licenses in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, including France’s Total, Italy’s Eni, ExxonMobil and Chevron, to identify ways to collaborate on projects that could accelerate transportation of gas to markets.

The minister said Israel had accepted the Cypriot government’s proposal for a pipeline and liquefaction plant, announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.

β€œThere are enough deposits (of gas) in the eastern Mediterranean. Most of them are in the exclusive economic zone of Israel, but there are also enough reserves in Cyprus to implement this project,” Papanastasiou told reporters.

The minister explained that this project is a scaled-down version of the EastMed pipeline idea. But that proposal β€” a $6 billion 1,900-kilometer pipeline to transport regional gas directly to Europe β€” has fallen out of favor in recent years.

Instead of a pipeline leading directly to Europe, LNG in Cyprus can be delivered to international markets by sea.

“When you have LNG, it can go in any direction,” Papanastasiou said. “Europe needs it more now, and markets can be found in Asia.”

The former Cypriot government announced last December that it was considering a proposal for a similar plan following the escalation of the energy crisis in Europe.

Papanastasiou said it would take several more months for the Cypriot and Israeli authorities to negotiate a separate agreement on the amount of gas they would receive from the Cypriot Aphrodite gas field.

He added that the proposal to build a pipeline to transport Cypriot and Egyptian gas to Egypt for liquefaction and subsequent export remains separate from the Israeli-Cypriot plan.

Source: AB

Brice Foster
With over a decade of experience, Brice Foster is an accomplished journalist and digital media expert. In addition to his Master's in Digital Media from UC Berkeley, he also holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from USC. Brice has spent the past five years writing for WS News Publishers on a variety of topics, including technology, business, and international affairs.

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