JAN 05 2019
Israel, Greece and Cyprus will sign an agreement early next year to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, while the United States pledged its support for the ambitious project. The $7 billion project, expected to take six or seven years to complete, promises to reshape the region as an energy provider and dent Russia's dominance over the European energy market. Israel has been developing natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast for the past decade. Its "Tamar" field already is operational, while the larger "Leviathan" field is expected to be operational next year. While most of its gas is used domestically, it has signed export deals with Egypt and Jordan and has its eyes on the larger European market. The proposed pipeline would allow Israel and Cyprus to export their recently discovered offshore reserves to Italy and eventually to the rest of Europe. Greece, which would act as a conduit for the gas to the continent, could also use the pipeline to convey any hydrocarbons potentially found in its own waters.