Israel and Cyprus in gas pipeline talks

The recent announcements in Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a pipeline that will transport natural gas from Israel’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to Cyprus for liquefaction (LNG) and export to European markets have, analysts say, all the makings of a new energy reality in the region.

Netanyahu’s revelations that he discussed the construction of an undersea natural gas pipeline with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides will undoubtedly give a new lease of life to Nicosia’s long-held ambitions to further enhance the prospect of the Eastern Mediterranean becoming an energy hub for European energy markets.

The announcements that a pipeline from Israel is being considered coincide with changes in Nicosia aiming to end the standstill in recent years on the commercial exploitation of fields such as Aphrodite. According to the plans that appear to be in place, Israel is not opposed to a portion of Israeli natural gas for export heading to Cyprus for liquefaction and then being shipped to markets (LNG).

If and when the talks reach an agreement, Cyprus will become not only a producer of natural gas but also an LNG processing country, effectively eliminating Egypt’s monopoly in the region with its two facilities at Idku and Damietta.


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