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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Will Israel’s pipeline dream ever come true?

Is Israel’s pipeline dream realistic? Israel’s ambitions to build a USD 7-8 bn pipeline to supply natural gas to Europe by 2025 might be a little too optimistic, Gabriel Mitchell, an expert in Israeli government and international affairs, writes in an opinion piece for Globes. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz announced last week that his country has signed agreements with Greece, Italy and Cyprus to supply them with natural gas and that to do so the country will be building the longest and deepest pipeline in the world.

Financing unclear and timeframe unrealistic? Steinitz had said financing for the project would take a year and construction would take five. Mitchell asks how Israel intends to pay for that pipeline and whether it could really be constructed in the timeframe suggested by the minister. “It took four years to connect Tamar field — a modest, 90 kilometer pipeline — to Israel’s coastline, so it is ambitious to imagine that a 2,200 kilometer pipeline would be constructed in similar timetable. So long as shorter, cheaper options are available, it is unclear that the EastMed pipeline will reach the minimal financial investment required to get off the ground,” Mitchell points out.

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