Israel leads construction of underwater gas pipeline to Europe

Greece, Italy and Cyprus, with the backing of the European Union, joined Israel in advancing a project to build the world’s longest and deepest undersea gas pipeline. 

Ministers from Cyprus, Greece and Italy joined Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz in Tel Aviv on Monday in signing a joint declaration regarding the construction of an undersea gas pipeline to Europe.

“This is going to be the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world,” Steinitz remarked. “It’s a very ambitious project.”

The planned pipeline, which is estimated to cost more than $6 billion, is intended to transport gas to Europe through Greece and Italy from offshore gas fields belonging to Israel and Cyprus.

The new sources of energy would undoubtedly lower European reliance on Russia as an energy source. This likely explains the presence of the European Union’s (EU) commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, at the signing, along with Cypriot Minister of Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Italian Economy Minister Carlo Calenda and Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

“This is a pipe that unites and will have the full support of all the members of the European Union,” Canete said, according to AFP.

“We highly value gas supply from the region as a vital source of our gas supply that can make a valuable contribution to our strategy to diversify sources, routes and suppliers,” he added.

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Despite the significant value that such a project poses to the European continent, construction of the pipeline will reportedly not start for several years and will likely go online in only eight years. Nevertheless, each of the four ministers present committed to meeting every six months to move the project forward.

Beginning in 2016, Israel, Greece and Cyprus already began advancing trilateral cooperation in various sectors, including energy.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News