Israel has proposed that EU countries invest in a multi-billion euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to the continent, noting that the supply from Israel would reduce Europe’s current dependence on natural gas from Russia, the Israeli press reported.
A proposal for the “massive” project was introduced by Israel’s Energy Minister Silvan Shalom to energy ministers from Euro-Mediterranean countries who met in Rome last week, Israel’s Channel 2 and The Times of Israel reported.
It said the project would require a multi-billion euro investment from Europe to build a pipeline from Israel’s Mediterranean cost to Cyprus, from where the gas would be carried on to Greece and Italy.
Reports say Cyprus, Greece and Italy were all supportive of the idea, and that Israel would make a formal presentation of the project to European representatives in Brussels in three weeks’ time.
Cyprus too has discovered gas offshore, but faces Turkish objections for developing the resource.
Israel began pumping natural gas in March 2013 from the offshore Tamar deposit — discovered in 2009 and located some 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Haifa — which holds an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
In addition to Tamar, in 2010 an even larger deposit, Leviathan — which boasts an estimated 16-18 trillion cubic feet of gas — was discovered 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa. It is expected to become operational in 2016.