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ENERGY > Turkey’s Zorlu ‘in talks on Israeli gas’

ANKARA/ISTANBUL-Reuters

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Zorlu Energy is reportedly in talks with Israeli firms. REUTERS photo

Zorlu Energy is reportedly in talks with Israeli firms. REUTERS photo

Turkey’s Zorlu Energy is in talks with Israeli firms over the potential for a pipeline to carry Israeli gas to Turkey, industry sources say, but the political rift between the two former allies is holding up progress.

Israel is set to become a gas exporter by the end of the decade after the discovery of two major offshore fields off its Mediterranean coast - Leviathan and Tamar.

Turkey, dependent on imports for almost all of its energy, is looking to diversify away from expensive Russian gas and could become a customer as well as providing a transit route to other markets, particularly Europe.

“Turkey is a very suitable route for Israeli gas. I can even say it is the most suitable,” said Ömer Yüngül, chief executive of Zorlu Holding, the owner of Zorlu Enerji.

But relations between the two countries have been scarred since May 2010 when Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists while storming the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a convoy seeking to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

Industry and diplomatic sources said the Zorlu Group, which already holds an indirect stake in an Israeli power plant, is in talks with private Israeli companies over a possible pipeline deal. Yüngül did not confirm the talks, but said Zorlu Energy’s existing investments in Israel have given it a head start. Zorlu Energy holds a 25 percent stake in Dorad Energy, which is building an 875 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant in Ashkelon on the Israeli coast. Yüngül said the first unit of the plant would come on line by February 2014.

Other Turkish companies including Turcas Petrol are also interested in a pipeline project, officials on both sides have said.

Such a project could be worth $3.5 billion, according to Amit Mor, an Israel-based consultant.

November/01/2013

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ilker avni

11/2/2013 2:09:09 PM

@Common sense if your argument was true,then why did Israel apologise for the killing of nine turkish citizens?,it was only when they relised they needed turkey to export 40%of they gas find,the ball is in turkeys court,if turkey says yes or no,other routes will delay and costs billions,common sense will preveil hopefully.@Ashley mayer Its Israel that needs to abide by int law,stop settlement building,open up the prison called gaza,allow humanitarian aid to reach million plus women and children

Common Sense

11/1/2013 11:57:18 PM

How can Israel TRUST a govt led by Erdogan? He lied:about the Marvi Marmara incident. He insists on Israel not only paying compensation but publicly stating that it was in the wrong, despite knowing that is not true,& despite his promise not to do that. He has betrayed 10 agents of Israel working in Iran,even though Israel is still supposed to be an ally& betrayals of this type are NEVER ACCEPTABLE in security circles.He wants to purchase Chines equipment for integration with NATO,despite his al

ilker avni

11/1/2013 6:57:20 PM

@Pawel bury Why dont you read the article before you post your negative comments,turkish companies have a share in israels power station (zorlu holdings),the only viable route is through turkey same applies to greek cyprus,the route you have surgested is not viable and would cost billions and take longer,turkish companies have huge investments in israel.Bussness is bussiness.@Mark Mark G/Cyprus will connect to turkeys hub so will israel other routes are not viable and will take longer.

Pawel Bury

11/1/2013 3:28:01 PM

This is very difficult for two reasons mainly. Firstly because Israelis will never trust Turks again and secondly because EU wants her own pipeline through member states. Israelis, Greeks and Cypriots are already planing a pipeline from Israel to Cyprus - Crete - Ionion Sea...

sam afg alokozai

11/1/2013 1:09:08 PM

@ashley meyer .. Ergogan knows how to behave, israel needs to learn how to live and how to allow humanity to live ...

Mark Mark

11/1/2013 11:37:27 AM

One glaringly obvious mistake in this article is the ommission of Cyprus and Lebanon. In order to get the gas from Israel it will need to go through the EEZ waters of Cyprus or Lebanon, how does Zorlu propose to do that?

strömungs maschine

11/1/2013 10:23:48 AM

@ Ashley Meyer , Do you indeed believe there is an alternative gas pipeline routing , when you look at the map to get to know your neighbors ? LNG can be an alternative but its project cost is sky high.

Ashley Meyer

11/1/2013 1:28:21 AM

Don't do it Israel - not until Erdogan learns to behave. Do what you know is right and find alternatives.
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