News sources are now picking up on what was mentioned here long ago. This will be used a main provider of energy to Europe, which will be more stable than supplies from Russia, who has turned off the switch in political ploys. Due to this fact, don’t count Greece or Cyprus out of the EU membership list as they will both have an important role in the Europe’s future.
Cyprus plans to become a regional hub in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea for the export of liquefied natural gas as the small island and its neighbors sit on huge offshore reserves, Cypriot officials say.
The nation’s aspirations are driven by recent discoveries in the Levant Basin, a stretch of sea that extends from the coasts of Israel, Lebanon and Syria and is estimated to contain 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is enough to meet the needs of 5 million households for 15 years, according to the American Gas Association.
Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) is the most active driller in the area and has already found large fields off Israel and Cyprus. Its Israeli discovery was the largest natural gas find in the last 10 years.
Plans for the project will require it to have the “flexibility to ship [natural gas] to the most lucrative markets, Asia or Europe,” a Cypriot government official said.
The EU’s southernmost member, Cyprus is seen as an important location to help diversify Europe’s energy mix and lessen reliance on producers like Russia and Mideast suppliers. Furthermore, discussions about likely construction of plants to convert the LNG back into gas in countries like Croatia, Bulgaria and Greece have some suggesting those nations are potential customers for Cyprus and Israel.
Like all ambitious plans, the LNG project is not without its challenges. Tensions between Cyprus and Turkey over the northern Turkish half of the island and its Greek southern half has sparked sporadic territorial disputes that could complicate things.
Not wanting to miss an important regional opportunity, Turkey has been trying to assert itself in the Levant Basin following the discoveries off Israel and Cyprus’s Greek, southern half.
“Israel cannot do whatever it wants in the Eastern Mediterranean. They will see what our decisions will be on this subject. Our navy attack ships can be there at any moment,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the often Israel-denouncing prime minister of Turkey, warned back in 2011.
In the wake of these tensions, Greek-backed Cyprus and Israel have formed an alliance based on mutual interest on the shared energy resource.
In Washington, Lakkotrypis met with the Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance discussing the importance of the countries’ relationship. “The energy triangle formed by Israel, Cyprus and Greece represents the first Western, democratically controlled source of energy in the Middle East,” Endy Zemenides, the executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, told International Business Times.
Zemenides echoed a theme that was discussed in the minister’s Washington meetings that given the ongoing civil strife in Syria, Egypt and Libya, the partnership between Cyprus, Greece and Israel is seen as “an arc of democracies that will serve as a bulwark against such instability.”
Full article: Huge Natural Gas Fields In The Eastern Mediterranean are Set To Transform Cyprus Into European Energy Hub (International Business Times)