Three years needed to put Med Sea gas on global market: Turkish firm
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoA minimum of three years is needed to ship gas to global markets via Turkey from the Aphrodite Gas field in Greek Cyprus and the Leviathan field in Israel, the general manager of the Turkish Zorlu Energy Natural Gas Group said Nov 30.
Zorlu’s general manager, Fuat Celepci, told state-run Anadolu Agency that Turkey’s private sector expects progress on Mediterranean gas after Turkey and Israel began normalizing their ties.
“The expected steps were taken by Turkey and Israel’s normalization process, but Mediterranean gas is not just Israeli gas. We need to take concrete steps and present it to world energy markets,” Celepci said.
He explained that the route expected to be used for the transfer of Israeli gas would have to pass through the Exclusive Economic Zone of Greek Cyprus.
“Depending on this, we may encounter some obstacles in the development process of the planned project aimed to bring Israeli gas to Turkish and global markets. According to the United Nations Convention on Maritime Law, the Greek Cypriot administration cannot say ‘no’ to this pipeline route,” he added.
However, Celepci said an approval following an environmental impact assessment report, which is required for the passage of the pipeline, will be needed from relevant institutions of Greek Cyprus.
“The Greek Cypriot administration has the authority to determine technical details,” he added.
Celepci said it changes were likely, including on the pipeline route to carry Israeli gas, in order to avoid delays.
He asserted that it appeared impossible to develop the project without resolving the existing problem between the Turkish and Greek administrations in Cyprus.
Celebi said Turkey’s goal in Cyprus was to achieve a united administration in a federal structure, with the aim of allowing both communities to mutually benefit from the natural gas resources on the island.
Even if Greek Cyprus decides to ship its gas unilaterally, Turkish Cyprus has a share in this gas, too, he added.
In addition to the normalization process between Israel and Turkey, negotiations between the north and south in Cyprus also need to reach a positive resolution, Celepci said.
The Eastern Mediterranean region has several natural gas fields which have not been commercialized yet via pipelines or LNG facilities, such as the Leviathan field with 621 billion cubic meters (bcm) of capacity, the Tamar field with 283 bcm capacity off the coast of Israel and the relatively small Aphrodite field with 127 bcm of capacity on the coast of Greek Cyprus.