A correction was issued on Wednesday to an earlier Reuters report quoting Italian gas giant Eni’s chief operating officer (COO) as saying that the EastMed pipeline would be fully completed by 2025.
The correction, according to an announcement from the energy ministry, quotes the COO Guido Brusco saying in fact that Eni expected to fully replace Russian gas by 2025 “helped by East Med fields” it said, adding: “This story corrects to take out reference to Eastmed pipeline”.
The EastMed is a subsea pipeline designed to supply gas to Europe from the east Mediterranean via Israel, Greece and Cyprus. The project – worth €6 billion – has been in planning for several years.
The three involved countries signed the deal to build the pipeline in January 2020.
They aim to reach a final investment decision by 2022, and have the pipeline completed by 2025 to help Europe diversify its energy resources.
But the project has not been without controversy and uncertainty.
In early April this year the European Parliament voted to keep the pipeline a Project of Common Interest so that it remained eligible for EU funding. This was despite the project being gas-based.
Days later, during a visit to Cyprus, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland poured cold water on the project, calling it expensive and unviable.
Nuland stated: “The idea there is to build a very long pipeline in very deep water over some ten years and we believe that it is too expensive, not economically viable and will take too long.”
The United States was seeking more short-term alternatives to ending Europe’s dependence on Russian resources, she added.