(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
A handful of countries gave their support on Monday to moving forward with a Mediterranean pipeline project that would carry natural gas from Israel to Europe, setting a target date for completion of 2025.
The proposed 2,000 kilometer (1,248 mile) subsea pipeline would connect newfound gas fields offshore Israel and Cyprus with Greece and possibly Italy at a cost of up to 6 billion euros ($6.4 billion).
"This is an ambitious project which as the Commission we clearly support, as it will have a high value in terms of security of supply and diversification targets," said European Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Tel Aviv between energy ministers from Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy, Canete said he believed the project will "meet all relevant requirements" to make financial commitment possible.
Israel has discovered more than 900 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas offshore, with some studies pointing to another 2,200 bcm waiting to be tapped. Along with the European market, it is exploring export options to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.