The Greek, Cypriot as well as Israel governments are opposing Turkey’s attempts to push for his hegemonic scope in the East Mediterranean region and beyond in signing a deal with the gas pipeline that might alter gaming for Eastern Mediterranean gas producers and European energy market.
Besides the drawing of the ire of Ankara and Moscow, the EastMed pipeline agreement does not include financial and technical issues, only lacks other players ‘ political and economic will to succeed.
The pipeline will connect the Leviathan field in Israeli waters to the Cypriot waters ‘ Aphrodite field and would ship it to Greece and then to Italy. The supply of existing pipeline networks to Central and Western Europe can proceed.
The launch of the Leviathan project was postponed by environmental concerns over the possible toxicity of methane from the field production platform situated 10 km offshore, but natural gas officially started to flow late December.
With developer IGI Poseidon – a 50/50 joint venture between Greek state-owned gas provider, Public Gas Company of Greece, and the Italian power company, Edison, this will prove to be a significant technical obstacle. IGI Poseidon also faces the challenge of securing private funding for the project. The group said that a definitive investment decision will be taken by 2022 in December.
The EastMed pipeline project is strongly opposed by Ankara. Turkey argues that its competitors in the Eastern Mediterranean are deliberately removed from the rich potential of gas production.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy stated: “Any project disregarding Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Turkish Cypriots, who have equal rights over the natural resources of the island of Cyprus, cannot succeed.”
The signing of the EastMed pipeline deal was notable because of the lack of a representative Italian delegate, which is an important factor since both the demand for gas supplies and the transport country for volumes going elsewhere in Europe play a key role.
In support of the initiative, Stefano Patuanelli, the Italian Minister of Economic Development, sent a letter in favor of the pipeline to Hatzidakis, his Greek counterpart, but until Italy reaches a Pipeline Agreement.