European and Israeli governments have agreed to support the development of the proposed €6bn ($6.4bn) Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline project intended to supply Israeli natural gas to the European countries.
The 2,000km EastMed gas pipeline will be designed to link gas fields off the coasts of Israel and Cyprus with Greece and possibly Italy.
During the EastMed Energy Summit, the Energy Ministers of Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Italy discussed the potential of transporting gas from the eastern Mediterranean region for Europe.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “In the next decades gas flows from the eastern Mediterranean region will play a vital role in the energy security of the European Union.
“The Commission strongly supports the construction of the necessary energy infrastructure and developing a competitive and liquid gas market in the region.”
The energy ministers are planning to meet in six months in Cyprus to further advance the project.
Cañete was reported by Reuters as saying: "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.’
Israel has discovered over 900 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas offshore, with a potential for another 2,200 bcm. Apart from supplying to European markets, the country is weighing options to export to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.
IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Greece's DEPA and Italian energy group Edison, is responsible for the development of the project, which is expected to be completed by 2025, reported Financial Times.
IGI Poseidon CEO Elio Ruggeri said that feasibility study for the project has been completed and will now focus proper development activities in the next few years.
Final investment decision for the project is expected by 2020, Ruggeri added.
Image: The new pipeline project aims to supply Israeli natural gas to the European countries. Photo: courtesy of European Commission/European Union.