The best option of three to carry Israel's natural gas to Europe is the route from Turkey to Europe which is possible within two to three years, according to the Director General of the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources of Israel on Thursday.
During the session entitled Boosting Regional Energy Partnerships and Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean the negotiations, director general Shaul Meridor confirmed Israel's large-scale natural gas discoveries in recent years, which need to be transported to European markets.
"To carry natural gas to Europe, there are three routes for consideration by the state of Israel, the Turkish route, the eastern route and through LNG terminals in Egypt," he explained, and added that the Turkish option is the best.
"Natural gas can be carried and used in Turkey's domestic market as well as in neighboring countries," he said.
Deputy Undersecretary of Turkey's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar noted that three main principles should be considered in any new gas development project in the Eastern Mediterranean
These principles that govern gas transmission assert that any project should be mutually beneficial to all concerned, that Turkey's security of supply should be taken into account and lastly security of supply for Europe is achieved.
He also said that peace, prosperity and stability in the region from Israel to Turkey, through Turkey to Europe is possible with the proposed gas projects.
Bayraktar reiterated the key issues in Turkey's energy policy, "security of supply, localization and the expansion of a predictable energy market structure."
He added that Turkey if firstly aiming to meet the challenge of growing demand and secondly is addressing its reliance on imported resources.
"According to International Energy Agency data, Turkey is facing fast growing energy demand in the medium and long run," he said, adding that 70 percent of energy resources are imported which is causing an account deficit in the economy.
He explained that to overcome this over-dependence on imports, the country is actively seeking solutions through the use of alternative domestic resources, mainly coal and renewables.
Over the last decade, Turkey has made strides to address growing energy demand through gas infrastructure investments including the launch of Turkey's first Floating Storage Regasification Unit, the expansion of the LNG infrastructure network, the development of nuclear power, amendments to energy regulations and now through diversification by proposing the development and supply of East Mediterranean gas, Bayraktar explained.
On Oct. 13 last year, Israel's Energy minister visited Istanbul to attend the World Energy Congress 2016, marking the first visit by Israel after several years.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Albayrak and his Israeli counterpart agreed then to enter talks to discuss a project to allow the transmission of natural gas from Israeli economic waters through Turkey and onto Europe.
Turkish and Israeli companies are currently discussing a possible gas pipeline to be built between Israel and Turkey to transport natural gas supplies from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Europe.
By Gulsen Cagatay