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Cyprus, Israel discussing pipeline to create vital link between Israeli gas fields and Europe

An aerial view of the Tamar gas processing rig 24 km off the Israeli southern coast of Ashkelon. (Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The newly-appointed minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry in Cyprus revealed on Monday that his country and Israel are discussing the potential construction of a pipeline that would link Israeli offshore gas fields to the island nation.

Cypriot Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said his country is interested in the production of cost-efficient electricity.  

"Our objective is low-cost electricity production ... so natural gas should come from the area," stated Papanastasiou.

While Cyprus is a tiny country, it could potentially become an important hub for transporting Israeli natural gas to mainland Europe. The European Union and the Jewish state have discussed a potential 1,243-mile (2,000-km) pipeline capable of transporting Israeli natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean to the EU market.

However, it is unclear whether the so-called “EastMed” pipeline will become a reality. In January 2022, the U.S. Biden administration withdrew its official support for the pipeline between Europe and Israel.

“Why would we build a fossil fuel pipeline between the eastern Mediterranean region and Europe when our entire policy is to support new technology... and new investments in going green and in going clean?” said State Department Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein. In addition, Washington has been arguing that such a pipeline would be too expensive.

While Papanastasiou appeared to downplay the EastMed pipeline option, he stressed that Cyprus could, nevertheless, become a vital link between Europe and Israel.

"It will be a corridor that will exist. Instead of a pipeline, it will be a connection between Israel and Europe which can be done through Cyprus," according to the Cypriot energy minister.

"It could be a virtual pipeline which would link through Cyprus to the rest of Europe in liquefied form," he added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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