Israel and Cyprus to build a natural gas pipe

Israel and Cyprus have agreed to build a natural gas pipe that will carry Israeli natural gas to Cyprus, the latter country’s Energy, Commerce and Industry Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou said on Monday.

Confirming a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he and Cyprus President Nicos Christodoulides had decided to construct the pipeline during their talks in Jerusalem last week, Papanastasiou said he will soon travel to Israel to discuss details and prepare a final agreement with his Israeli counterpart.

“What comes first in the current phase is the signing of an agreement between the two states, which will allow the building of a pipeline that will connect the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the two countries. We’ll start from there,” Papanastasiou said.

Nicos Christodoulides

Israel and Cyprus have both discovered extensive natural gas fields in their adjoining EEZs in the eastern Mediterranean and the pipeline would be the first practical step towards transferring gas to Europe.

On Sunday, Netanyahu said that “the project that we focused on (in talks last Tuesday) is the supply of Israeli gas to Europe via the pipeline from our gas field to a huge liquefaction facility that will be built in Cyprus.”

Papanastasiou said that during his impending visit to Israel he will discuss the speedy resolution of an issue arising from a partial Israeli claim on a Cypriot gas deposit adjoining an Israeli gas field and the promotion of the construction of a gas pipe from the Israeli gas fields to a liquefaction plant in Cyprus.

He said that part of the gas will be used for the production of cleaner and cheaper electricity and the rest will be turned into liquid form at a liquefaction plant for export to Europe. ■

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