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Politics

Cyprus and Israel Collaborate on Natural Gas Pipeline for European Export

NICOSIA – Cyprus and Israel are joining forces to construct a pipeline that will transport natural gas from both nations to Cyprus for liquefaction and export to Europe and other potential destinations, according to Cyprus’ Energy Minister. Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou revealed plans for a formal agreement during his upcoming visit to Israel, with the pipeline expected to be completed within 18 months after signing. The construction of a liquefaction plant in Cyprus will follow, taking approximately 2 ½ years once investors are secured.

Cyprus has discovered five significant gas deposits off its southern coast, while Israel boasts 11 such fields, including the massive Leviathan deposit estimated to hold around 22 trillion cubic feet (623 billion cubic meters) of gas. Minister Papanastasiou intends to meet with energy companies licensed for exploration in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, such as Total, Eni, ExxonMobil, and Chevron, to explore collaborative opportunities for expediting the gas discoveries’ market entry.

The proposed pipeline and liquefaction plant have received the approval of Israel, as confirmed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Papanastasiou emphasized the region’s substantial gas reserves, with both Israel and Cyprus holding significant quantities to support the project. This initiative represents a modified version of the previous EastMed pipeline proposal, enabling the shipment of processed gas from Cyprus to international markets, including Europe and Asia, through liquefied natural gas, providing flexibility in terms of destination.

Negotiations are ongoing to determine the distribution of gas from the Cypriot Aphrodite gas field in Israeli waters, which is expected to be finalized in the coming months. Additionally, it is important to note that the plan to transport Cypriot and Egyptian gas to liquefaction plants in Egypt for export remains separate from the Israeli-Cypriot collaboration.

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