EUROPEAN INTEREST IN ISRAELI GAS DEEPENS
High-level contacts between Israel and European countries on laying a gas pipeline from the Leviathan natural gas reservoir are about to take place in Brussels, the Israeli economic newspaper Globes reports.
The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources director general Shaul Meridor will travel to Brussels next Monday to meet his counterparts from Italy, Greece, and Cyprus in the European Commission offices. The meeting is designed to pave the way for a summit between the four countries’ energy ministers next month in Israel.
Such a pipeline, the longest of its type in the world – 2,000 kilometers, could connect the Israeli reservoir Leviathan and the Aphrodite Cypriot reservoir, as well as other other gas reservoirs to Italy, and from there to other customers in Europe.
The Europeans expressed their preference that Edison carry out this ambitious venture. One of the world’s most experienced energy companies, Edison was acquired several years ago by EDF, the French national electric company, and is active in energy exploration in Israel and Egypt. The sources add that Francesco Starace, CEO of Italian electric company Enel Group, recently met with Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and expressed interest in buying Israeli gas. The Italians are interested in Israeli gas as a substitute for the gas they are buying from the North Sea area, where gas production is gradually declining.