Israel seeks to enter the European gas fray

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Israel seeks to enter the European gas fray

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 08:50
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Silvan Schlomo, Israel's Energy Minister, visits a processing plant off the coast of Ashdod in March (© 2014 Moshe Binyamin/Energy and Water Ministry)
Silvan Schlomo, Israel's Energy Minister, visits a processing plant off the coast of Ashdod in March (© 2014 Moshe Binyamin/Energy and Water Ministry)

Looking to capitalize on a massive natural gas reservoir discovered in disputed territorial waters 90 km off the joint Israel - Lebanese border, Israel has proposed that the EU invest in a multi-billion euro 1530 km offshore pipeline to carry the product to Europe.

Israel began exploiting the estimated 8.5 trillion cu ft of natural gas in 2009 for its own domestic market. With the potential supply far exceeding the country's internal requirements, Israel will soon be in a position to begin supplying foreign markets.

Cyprus and Greece have already voiced their support for the prospective Israel-Europe pipeline. This has led to the concept being selected as "project of common interest" status by the EU. This designation potentially gives access to a 5.85 billion euro fund and preferred treatment by multilateral banks.

Silvan Schlomo, Israel's Energy Minister, maintains the future supply of natural gas from Israel to Europe would lessen the continent's current dependence on Russia and help to enhance European energy security.

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