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Report: Israel may start exporting gas to Cyprus via new pipeline

The comments from Cyprus’ energy minister come as Israel is eyeing more gas exports to Europe.
Delegations from Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Italy, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, France, the United States and Greece attend the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 16, 2020.

The Republic of Cyprus is considering receiving natural gas from Israel via a pipeline. 

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides told The Associated Press that they are considering licensing requests from the London-based Energean on the matter. Israel needs to decide how much gas they would export in such an arrangement, according to the AP. 

Energean is one of several companies that operates in Israel’s offshore natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean. 

Why it matters: Israel’s gas sector is taking off this year. Natural gas revenues are increasing and the state of Israel’s Wealth Fund has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in gas revenues in 2022. 

Israel is seeking greater energy ties with Europe as it expands its gas sector. In June, Israel signed an agreement to export gas to Europe via Egypt. Europe is seeking Israeli gas as it is looking to reduce energy dependence on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. 

Israel has also increased gas exports to Egypt and Jordan this year. 

Pilides’ comments are also noteworthy due to the maritime territorial dispute between Israel and Cyprus. For years, the two countries have been in a dispute over the Aphrodite-Yishai joint reservoir. Pilides and her Israeli counterpart, Karine Elharrar, held talks on the matter in September and agreed on many of the outstanding issues, Danny Zaken reported for Al-Monitor at the time. 

Greater Israel-Cyprus ties could irk Turkey. After years of cool relations, Israel and Turkey are finally getting along again and planning more trade and defense cooperation

Turkey and Cyprus have been in a territorial dispute over the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for decades.

Interestingly, Turkey is also interested in receiving natural gas from Israel

Know more: Here are some other recent developments in Israeli gas from the past few months:

  • The US energy giant Chevron announced last week an expansion plan for the Tamar gas field off the coast of Israel. 
  • Israel’s NewMed Energy reached an agreement with the Moroccan government also last week to conduct energy exploration in Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean territory. 
  • Energean announced a gas discovery off the coast of Israel in November.
  • In October, Egypt persuaded Israel to start extracting gas off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Rasha Abou Jalal reported exclusively for Al-Monitor from Gaza City.

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