Cyprus energy minister Natasa Pilides was one of six energy ministers that expressed support for the EastMed pipeline project that would take natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Greece, from where it would be distributed to European countries.
The six ministers said the pipeline was a viable option for increasing the security of the gas supply for southeastern and central Europe. They noted that enhancing the security of natural gas supply to Europe could be secured through alternative supply sources and routes.
Titled Energy Cooperation and Exploring the Opportunities and Advantages of EastMed Gas Pipeline, the video conference was organized by Israeli energy minister Dr Yuval Steinitz and his counterparts from Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus took part.
They agreed to hold another meeting in the near future to further this cooperation which would also promote collective action and collaboration in the fields of renewable energy and alternative fuels as well as encouraging joint pilot projects.
A few days earlier the Energy Egypt website reported that Chevron Corp and Delek Drilling LP, would invest $235 million in pipelines to export natural gas from Israel’s two largest fields Tamar and Leviathan to Egypt.
The two companies, which together hold an 85% stake in Leviathan and 54% stake in Tamar signed an agreement with Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd to lay a new pipeline and expand some existing ones, reported Energy Egypt.
Delek said that 7 billion cubic metres of gas would be sent annually to Egypt, while the new pipeline would cost $228 million, more than half of which (56%) will be covered by the gas companies. Chevron and Delek agreed to export 44 billion cubic metres of gas to Egypt over eight years starting from 2022 or 2023.
Egypt, which has its own liquefaction units plans to export the gas it buys from Israel and from its giant Zohr field to Europe as LNG.
Chevron also has control of Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field after it bought Noble Energy last year for some $5 billion. The agreement made with Egypt, Delek and Chevron could also have an impact on the prospects of materialisation of the East Med pipeline, something that was not discussed by the ministers on Thursday.