The United States supports the EastMed pipeline project that is expected to deliver natural gas from offshore Israel via Greece and Cyprus to the wider European market, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said during a visit to Greece on Thursday.
"We are going to continue to work with Israel, Greece and other interested parties to ensure that the infrastructure will be developed," Secretary Brouillette told reporters, as carried by Reuters.
The planned EastMed pipeline, for which a final investment decision is expected in 2022, is expected to deliver around 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the European Union (EU) through Greece and Italy. The EU backs the project as a means to diversify its natural gas imports away from Russia. The EastMed project is expected to meet some 10-15 percent of the EU's projected natural gas needs.
"Greece and its neighbors are redrawing the energy map of southeastern Europe through a variety of major projects like the recently completed TAP and making progress on renewables, e-mobility, and wind power," Secretary Brouillette tweeted from Athens today.
We are committed to supporting projects like TAP, Alexandroupoli FSRU, Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), and Greece's role in East Med Gas Forum, Secretary Brouillette added.
TAP, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, another route of diversification from Russian gas, started commercial operations last month.
For the EastMed pipeline project, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus signed early this year an agreement to build the infrastructure, aiming for a final investment decision in 2022 and for pipeline completion by 2025.
Last year, after the U.S.-Greece strategic dialogue, the United States and Greece said in a joint statement:
"The Greek and U.S. governments acknowledged the potential of the proposed EastMed gas pipeline to contribute to the energy security and diversification of energy sources and routes in the Eastern Mediterranean."
"Greece and the United States acknowledged that the discovery and future exploitation of significant hydrocarbon fields in the Eastern Mediterranean are of vital importance for the stability of the region and can actively contribute to the EU's energy diversification strategy," Greece and the U.S. said in October 2019.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.