ISRAEL, GREECE AND CYPRUS: AGREEMENT ON GAS PIPELINE FOR EUROPE
The Israeli Minister of national infrastructure, energy and water resources, Yuval Steinitz, met yesterday in Jerusalem the Greek Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis and the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Georgios Lakkotrypis, in order to promote a closer cooperation with Europe in the Energy sector and to meet, as soon as possible, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arais Canete. The news is released by the economic newspaper Globes.
Objective of the meeting was the decision to promote the construction of a pipeline to link Israel to Cyprus and Greece, and then to Italy and Bulgaria (the EU has already prepared a feasibility study on this project) in order to export natural gas and make Europe less dependent from Russia, from an energy point of view.
The costs are estimated to be around USD 5.7 billion and the price should be USD 7-9 per BTU in order for the project to be economically advantageous. Sources in the energy sector affirm, however, that the real cost of the project will be over USD 2 billion more than estimated and that a USD 7-9 price would not be economically acceptable on a market in which Russia sells 175 billion cubic metres of gas (accounting for 43% of the total gas consumed in Europe) for a price of USD 4.40 per BTU.
The same day, the European Commissioner for Energy said that the 124 agreements currently in place for gas supplies will be united in a single instrument, again with the objective of reducing the dependency of Europe towards Russia.
The pipeline can become a more profitable business in the case new deposits will be found, while Minister Steinitz underlined the political and strategic aspect for the balance between countries in the region.