Greece, Cyprus, Israel to Finalize Mediterranean Gas Pipeline Deal
Greece, Cyprus and Israel are pushing forward with a plan to construct a 1,300-mile-long pipeline by 2025 to transport natural gas from the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The leaders of the three countries are slated to formally sign the so-called EastMed pipeline deal in Athens on January 2, a move that will undoubtedly raise the ire of Turkey. Ankara recently forged a controversial maritime demarcation agreement with Libya that encompasses resource-rich areas claimed by Greece and Cyprus, the northern part of which Turkey occupies. The Turkish government has over the past year been conducting contentious explorations off the coast of European Union member Cyprus, prompting Brussels to threaten Ankara with sanctions. The trilateral accord comes as a massive Israeli offshore natural gas development project is slated to go online within weeks. The “Leviathan” deposit contains an estimated 620 billion cubic meters (22 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, the export of which is expected to transform Israel into a regional energy superpower.