Israel-EU undersea gas pipeline project

Tel Aviv: European countries have diverted their attention towards Israel as an alternative source for fuel gas instead of relying completely on Russia. On Monday, in a meeting conducted in Israel, a proposal was mutually agreed upon to build pipeline in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Italy. A total cost of around €6 billion is estimated to build this 2000 kms pipeline. Even today, Europe imports 1/3rd of fuel gas of its total requirement from Russia. Only because of fuel gas supply, Russia was able to maintain pressure on the European countries. But, after the outcry in Ukraine, the European countries are trying to break the dominance created by Russia. As a part of the same, the European countries are trying to raise imports from the gulf countries along with the USA. Last year around 900 billion cubic meter natural gas was found in Israeli waters. As per the reports published at that time, it was predicted that around 2200 billion cubic meter of natural gas is present in the Israeli off shores. On  this background Israel tried to export their natural gas to other countries. These included Turkey, Egypt, Jordan & the European countries.

Discussion between Israel and the European countries has been successful on the supply of natural gas. And accordingly it is agreed to construct a pipeline from Israel to Cyprus, Greece and Italy. On Monday, in a convention conducted at Tel Aviv, ministers of Petroleum & Natural gas of all four countries along with senior officials of the European Union were present. 

Israel’s Minister of Energy Dr. Yuval Steinitz claimed that the fuel gas pipeline to be built along with the European countries will prove to be the longest & deepest pipeline in the world. He said that target is set to complete construction of the pipeline and operationalize it by 2025; still efforts to minimize this timeline and complete the same at the earliest will be made.

Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Energy of the European Union has committed that this pipeline project between Israel & European countries will be successful & that the European Union will provide complete support. The European Union has planned to bring variety in source, route and suppliers of natural gas. So this project with Israel will be an important contribution. This will enable European countries to avoid dependence on Russia for fuel supply, saying so Cañete strongly supported the new pipeline.

Natural gas from Cyprus along with that of Israel will also be used for Israel – Europe pipeline. It is said that Cyprus contains 128 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Last year in April, US fuel carrier ship had entered in Europe. After that the European countries initiated talk with Iran, Saudi Arabia and even Qatar for more fuel imports. Ever since decision of building Israel – Europe pipeline project has been taken, it seems that European countries are trying to break dominance of Russia in fuel supply.