East Med gas won’t solve EU energy woes
The energy ministers of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece are talking up possible natural gas exports from their countries as a way of diversifying Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia. They have lobbied the European Commission to conduct a feasibility study for an undersea gas pipeline to bring Israeli and Cypriot gas to Europe via Greece. Silvan Shalom, energy minister in Israel’s outgoing government, said that such a pipeline would ensure that European consumers obtain the cheapest possible gas.
Such advocacy catches the mood of anxiety in Europe about possible blackouts caused by continuing hostilities between Ukraine and Russia. However, studies for the German Marshall Fund show that the technical and commercial viability of a sub-sea Mediterranean pipeline is doubtful. The water between the offshore fields and Greece is very deep, some 2,000 metres in places, and the distance involved is 1,200 kilometres, a major challenge.
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