by WorldTribune Staff, December 7, 2017
Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy on Dec. 5 signed an agreement to build a major underwater pipeline to supply natural gas to Europe.
The pipeline will be some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) long and is estimated to cost approximately $6 billion (five billion euros). It will have an annual capacity of 10-16 billion cubic feet, and could be completed by 2025, officials said.
The four Mediterranean nations, in a joint statement, pledged to pool resources on studies for the construction of and operation of the project which they said is “technically and financially viable.”
The gas would be supplied via Israel’s Leviathan gas field and Cyprus’s Aphrodite bloc. The planned pipeline will connect the Leviathan field via the Aphrodite field, Crete, mainland Greece and Italy.
“The project will secure a direct long-term export route from Israel and Cyprus to Greece, Italy and other European markets… thereby strengthening EU’s security of supply,” the statement said.
Israel’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, and his Cyprus and Greece counterparts George Lakkotrypis and Giorgos Stathakis attended the ceremony, as did the Italian ambassador to Cyprus, Andrea Cavallari.
The nations said the pipeline could become an even more profitable venture if Israel and Cyprus discover additional major gas fields, thus lowering costs.