Egypt’s energy minister says gas supplies in the Mediterranean region are likely to be sufficient to meet Europe’s needs if investments are made to develop gas fields in the area.
Egyptian television reported on Saturday that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades thanked Egypt for its efforts to jointly coordinate the exploitation of regional offshore natural gas resources by hosting the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum last June.
Arab media also reported on Saturday that Egypt’s energy minister, Tarek el Molla, who attended the one-day multi-nation conference in Cyprus on Friday, said that gas supplies in the eastern Mediterranean region they will be what he called “a lifeline for Europe”. at a time of crisis”, and “could eventually meet Europe’s gas needs if the right investments are made”.
Egypt has in the past been critical of European and international financial institutions for being unwilling or unenthusiastic about investing in regional oil fields to share the burden of bringing gas production online in several offshore fields, which is often It is very expensive.
Egyptian political sociologist Said Sadek told VOA that the current international crisis resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could eventually calm down and “if Russian gas was pumped back to Europe, it would make some eastern Mediterranean gas fields less profitable.” to explode.”
Sadek pointed out that several eastern Mediterranean gas fields are plagued by problems related to regional rivalries and conflicts between Egypt and Turkey, over fields near Libya and Greece, and Turkey over fields in Cypriot territorial waters, and in fields between Greece and Turkey.
“The Mediterranean is full of gas… enough to export, but the problem is the fight, especially the problem with Libya is problematic and will take time.” [and] the field of Cana in Lebanon was not ready,” he said. “Turkey wants a piece of the pie and they tried to harass Greece (in various ways).”
Sadek noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the latter visited Moscow recently that he should “extend the TurkStream natural gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Turkey to Eastern Europe”. Sadek added that such a move “infuriated a number of countries and would take several years to do in any case.”
US energy analyst Paul Sullivan agrees with Sadek, noting that “there is a lot of gas in the eastern Mediterranean region.” [but] it takes a long time to develop gas fields and transportation infrastructure to bring gas to market.” He stressed that “over time, gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean could bring much more gas to Europe and elsewhere.”
“Investing in these fields,” he added, “includes financial and even political and physical risks,” too.