Eni Οfficial: East Mediterranean Gas Could Supply Europe

Eni's Chief Exploration Officer Luca Bertelli talks during the Eastern Mediterranean gas conference in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA (AP) — A senior official with Italian company Eni says the fastest and cheapest way to supply East Mediterranean gas to Europe and other regional markets is to utilize idle processing plants in Egypt to liquefy the mineral for transport.

Eni’s Chief Exploration Officer Luca Bertelli told a gas conference Wednesday that the East Mediterranean could become a hub to export gas to Europe, which needs to diversify its energy supply.

But he said more gas discoveries are needed to ensure that there will be sufficient quantities over the long term. That would also make planned projects like a pipeline linking the East Mediterranean with Europe viable.

Bertelli said Eni’s drilling off Cyprus has confirmed that there’s potential for more gas discoveries because the geology is similar to Egypt’s huge Zohr field.

Cyprus’ Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis talks during the Eastern Mediterranean gas conference in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. A senior official with Italian company Eni says the fastest and cheapest way to supply East Mediterranean gas to Europe and other regional markets is to utilize idle processing plants in Egypt to liquefy the mineral for transport. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Cyprus’ Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis talks during the Eastern Mediterranean gas conference in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. A senior official with Italian company Eni says the fastest and cheapest way to supply East Mediterranean gas to Europe and other regional markets is to utilize idle processing plants in Egypt to liquefy the mineral for transport. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Eni’s Chief Exploration Officer Luca Bertelli talks during the Eastern Mediterranean gas conference in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. A senior official with Italian company Eni says the fastest and cheapest way to supply East Mediterranean gas to Europe and other regional markets is to utilize idle processing plants in Egypt to liquefy the mineral for transport. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)