Crete is the “key” to transfer natural gas from Israel to the E.U.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the preferred way to export its recently discovered natural gas reserves to Europe would be via a pipeline through Cyprus and Greece, Reuters reported.
“What looks … possible to carry out is a pipeline to our neighbours in the EU, like Cyprus and Greece, and from Greece to all southern Europe, to Italy, maybe other countries,” Liberman told journalists during a visit to Lithuania on Wednesday.
“It’s a huge project, and we are only in the beginning. But (the) first impression is that the right way to export this gas to Europe is through Cyprus and Greece,” he added.
Israel initially looked to export most of its reserves in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) but after potential Australian investor Woodside Petroleum, an LNG specialist, bailed out of a joint development deal with Israel’s Delek and US Noble Energy earlier this year, its LNG export outlook diminished.
Another potential export route, via a pipeline to Turkey, has been dealt a blow because of a deepening political rift over Israel’s Gaza offensive.
The Israeli minister said the planned pipeline was estimated to cost €15-€20 billion.
The project called “Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline-EastMed” promoted by the Greek natural gas provider (DEPA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Cyprus and has been identified as a common interest project by the European Commission.
According to the original design, the pipeline will have a capacity of 8 billion cubic meters per year and will consist of the following parts:
a) A 150km underwater section from the deposits to Vasiliko, Cyprus
b) A 650km underwater section from Vasiliko to the shore of eastern Crete
c) A 400km underwater section from Crete to the South-East coast of Peloponnese
d) A 260km land section running across Peloponnese
e) An underwater section crossing the Gulf of Patras and finally
f) A 220km land section from the shore of Aetolia-Acarnania to Thesprotia