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Investment Energy Summit : Re-disigning the European Energy Map

Greece, Israel and Cyprus eye future gas exports

30. March 2012. | 08:12 11:41

Source: Emg.rs

City: Athens

Author: Nikos D. A. Arvanites

Energy Ministers from Greece, Israel and Cyprus say they will increase cooperation to exploit natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean, but warned that large-scale exports could take a decade.

The Investment Energy Summit’s objective is to enlighten each aspect of Greece’s, Cyprus’s and Israel’s collaboration on issues regarding the strategy of the new energy landscape.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change of Greece, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Cyprus and the support of the Greek Israeli Chamber of Commerce & Technology and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Memorandum of collaboration on energy issues shall be signed by Greek Minister George Papaconstantinou, Cypriot Minister Praxoula Antoniadou Kyriacou and Israeli Minister Uzi Landau on the occasion of the international Economist Investment Energy Summit, scheduled to take place on March 28th-29th 2012 at the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa Hotel (Vouliagmeni, Athens).

The conference is being held under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change and the Cypriot Ministry of Industry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, US Department of State will be addressing the official luncheon of the conference.

The status of energy exploration and its geostrategic significance for the region shall be thoroughly discussed during the sessions of the 2-day event, as well as the prospects of the transportation of natural gas, in the light of the creation of a third pole of Europe’s energy supply.

The conference shall further focus on the re-design of the European energy map, with emphasis on investment potentiality, as well on the geopolitical dimensions. The issue of the Exclusive Economic Zones is also included in the agenda.

Challenges in the field of Renewable Energy Sources, as well as latest developments on international energy projects (ITGI, IGB, SOUTHSTREAM, NABUCCO, TAP) will also be discussed.

More than 40 speakers from Greece and abroad will participate in the conference.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The Economist's forecast on energy
  • The status of energy exploration and its geostrategic significance for the region
  • Energy exploration in Greece: where and when?
  • Exclusive Economic Zones: a necessity or not?

Greece, Israel and Cyprus eye future gas exports

Energy Ministers from Greece, Israel and Cyprus say they will increase cooperation to exploit natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean, but warned that large-scale exports could take a decade.

Greece, whose economy has been ravaged by a financial crisis, hosted a meeting near Athens Wednesday. The country hopes to eventually start its own gas production and act as a transit point for Israel and Cyprus, but said it has no plans to abandon more advanced gas projects it is involved with in Azerbaijan and Russia.

Cypriot Industry Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis said the three countries were more likely to share gas-produced electricity, using undersea cables, before exports were possible.

Israel examining natgas export to Europe via Greece

Israel is examining all the alternative options for exporting natural gas, but channeling it to Europe is the most natural choice, and export via Greece is being mulled, Israeli energy and water resources minister Uzi Landau said in Athens on Wednesday, addressing an Economist conference on energy infrastructures in Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Addressing the same conference, Greek environment, energy and climate change minister George Papaconstantinou said the possibility exists of creating a third natgas transport corridor to Europe via Greece, while Cyprus' commerce, industry and tourism minister Neoklis Sylkiotis sad that the three countries were capable of guaranteeing the smooth flow of natural gas to Europe, adding that at least eight years would be required to build the relevant infrastructures in order for exports of natural gas to begin from the eastern Mediterranean region.

Landau said that the questions that need to be answered with respect to natgas export from Israel were whether the gas will be channeled to Asia or to Europe, and whether it will be exported in liquefied natural gas (LNG) form or by pipeline via Cyprus and Greece to the rest of Europe.

"All these are under discussion, and there will be proposals," he said, noting that channeling the gas to Europe was the most natural choice.

At a first stage, the gas that has been discovered in Israel's sea region will be used for electricity production and industrial use, and Landau said he was open to export of gas to Palestine and Jordan which, he noted, will boost regional cooperation for consolidating peace. He also said that a Memorandum of Understanding has already been sighed for connecting Israel's electricity grid with that of Cyprus via underwater cable, while studies are also being drafted for hooking up Cyprus' grid with Greece's via Crete. "The Greece-Cyprus-Israel axis, and perhaps of other countries, could provide an anchor of stability," Landau said.

Hydrocarbon seismic survey tender outcome to be decided after elections, minister says

The winner of the tender for the conduction of seismic studies for hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas) in the Ionian sea and in the sea area south of the island of Crete will be decided after the elections, deputy environment, energy and climate change minister Yiannis Maniatis said on Thursday, addressing an Economist energy conference in Athens.

Eight companies from the US, Norway, Britain and France, all global providers of geophysical services, submitted applications to the environment, energy and climate change ministry to conduct seismic surveys for hydrocarbons in the Ionian sea and in the sea area south of the island of Crete by the expiration of the deadline on March 2.

Maniatis said that there is substantial interest by both large and medium-size companies for explorations in Greece, adding that it would be unethical for decisions to be taken on the seismic studies a few days before parliament is dissolved ahead of the elections, which are expected on April 29 or May 6, while the ministry's initial timetable had planned for evaluation of the offers in early April.

He elaborated that a large number of large and medium-size companies have contacted the ministry and expressed interest in all the designated areas for seismic study, not just the Ionian and Crete but also the tenders for hydrocarbon exploration in Ioannina, the Patras Gulf and Katakolo.

An 'open door' invitation of interest for the three concessions -- an area in the Gulf of Patras, a second area west of Ioannina in Epirus prefecture, and in the region of Katakolo in Ileia prefecture, with an estimated potential of 250-300 million barrels over a period of 15-20 years -- expires on July 2.

Maniatis further said that the Greek state will collect, in the next 2-3 months -- the first million euros from the Greek hydrocarbons, coming from the sale of the survey data to prospective bidders for the Ioannina, Patras Gulf and Katakolo concessions.

He said that no inch of Greek land or sovereign sea area will be left unexplored, noting that in 15 years' time Greece will be able to meet up to 30 percent of its needs in hydrocarbons from domestic sources.


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