Egypt’s energy minister said gas supplies in the Mediterranean region are likely to be sufficient to meet Europe’s needs if investments are made to exploit gas fields in the region.
Egyptian television reported on Saturday that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades thanked Egypt for its efforts to jointly coordinate the exploitation of regional undersea natural gas resources by organizing the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum last June.
Arab media also reported on Saturday that Egyptian Energy Minister Tarek el Molla, who attended the one-day multi-nation conference in Cyprus on Friday, said the gas supply in the region of Eastern Mediterranean would be what he called “a lifeline for Europe”. in times of crisis” and “could eventually meet Europe’s gas needs if the appropriate investments are made”.
Egypt has in the past criticized European and international financial institutions for its reluctance or lack of enthusiasm to invest in regional oil fields in order to share the burden of bringing gas production online in several sub-fields. sailors, which is often very expensive.
Egyptian political sociologist Said Sadek told VOA that the current international crisis resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could eventually ease and “if Russian gas was pumped to Europe again, it would make some fields of gas from the eastern Mediterranean less profitable to exploit”.
Sadek pointed out that a number of gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean are facing problems related to regional rivalries and conflicts between Egypt and Turkey – on fields near Libya and Greece – and Turkey on fields in Cypriot territorial waters, and on 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 it 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 allegedly told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during the latter’s recent visit to Moscow, that he should “extend the TurkStream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey to Eastern Europe”. Sadek added that such a move “angered a number of countries and it would take several years to do it anyway.”
US energy analyst Paul Sullivan agrees with Sadek, pointing out 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 get gas to market. He pointed out that “over time, the eastern Mediterranean gas fields could bring much more gas to Europe and elsewhere”.
“Investing in these areas,” he added, “also involves financial and even political and physical risks.”