Thursday, July 18, 2024
 
 

Murder can’t kill Italy’s interest in Egyptian gas

Any kind of deterioration between Rome and Cairo may have an impact but cannot put in danger ENI's exploitation of Zohr gas field offshore Egypt

- Advertisement -

ATHENS – Egypt’s refusal to hand over extensive phone records as part of an investigation into the killing an Italian researcher and Rome’s decision to recall its ambassador to Egypt may have caused diplomatic tensions between Cairo and Rome but is unlikely to affect Italy’s interests in Egypt, including the giant offshore Zohr gas field, which is being developed by ENI. The eastern Mediterranean is seen as a potential energy source for the European Union, lessening the bloc’s reliance on Russia.

“Business interests, particularly of that magnitude, are usually not affected by such issues. Of course, any kind of deterioration between the two states may have an impact but cannot put in danger the exploitation of Zohr gas field,” Constantinos Filis, director of research at Institute of International Relations, told New Europe on April 13 in the context on the EXPOSEC DEFENSEWORLD 2016 conference in Athens, focusing on security in southeastern Europe.

The main risk in the case of Egypt and its potential role as a supplier of the European market rests on its internal developments and the possibility of destabilisation, especially given that Libya is becoming the new “operation theatre” for the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) or Daesh and possibly NATO and other external powers, Filis said.

He said that other issues include the pace at which Zohr is going to be developed, the needs of the growing Egyptian market, given that up until recently energy prices were subsidised which made it less attractive for companies to supply the internal market, as well as the competitiveness of the Egyptian gas with regard to pricing. Moreover, Iran’s comeback in the market, although in contrast to oil in the case of natters, it will take Tehran some time to get its “share”, may affect Egypt’s role as a potential supplier to Europe, Filis said.

“Also, whether and to what extent will Egypt join forces with Cyprus and Israel will define to an extent future developments. Supplying the European market will also depend on the latter’s supply-demand gap in the next two decades,” he said.

Meanwhile, around 15 energy companies are believed to want to be part of a planned consortium, which will carry Israeli gas to Europe via Turkey, Hurriyet quoted Turcas CEO Batu Aksoy as saying. Filis told New Europe that using the Turkish soil for reaching the European market is an expensive option, as a new pipeline system within Turkey needs to be constructed. “From a political point of view, again Turkey cannot be regarded as a safe corridor for European interests, not least for the fact that its wider agenda usually collides with the European and the way [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan deals with Ankara’s challenges is distancing his country from the West, making it a less reliable partner,” he said.

“But Turkey may well become a ‘client’ for Israeli natural gas, provided that there will be a solution to the Cyprus issue,” Filis added. Given the worsening relations between Ankara and Moscow that led to the suspension of the Turkish Stream pipeline, Turkey can receive quantities from Israel and Cyprus, seeking to secure 16 billion cubic metres, he said that any decisions cannot but take into account both economic, technical as well as geopolitical considerations.

follow on twitter @energyinsider

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

Latest

Policies on Deforestation Show Europe’s Internal Splits

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once famously...

NATO Summit: “Trump-proofing” Ukraine support while Biden appearances under a microscope

The July 9-11 NATO Summit was originally envisioned as...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2...

Astana SCO Summit reaffirms its growing geopolitical role

The 24th summit of the Council of Heads of...

Don't miss

Policies on Deforestation Show Europe’s Internal Splits

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once famously...

NATO Summit: “Trump-proofing” Ukraine support while Biden appearances under a microscope

The July 9-11 NATO Summit was originally envisioned as...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2...

Astana SCO Summit reaffirms its growing geopolitical role

The 24th summit of the Council of Heads of...

Uzbekistan: A Key Player in the (Central Asian) Great Game

Uzbekistan has had considerable success in attracting billions of...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2 (PS-2) natural gas pipeline to China appear to be stalling despite repeated statements from Moscow...

Uzbekistan: A Key Player in the (Central Asian) Great Game

Uzbekistan has had considerable success in attracting billions of dollars of aid, concessional debt, and co-investment, which has helped transform the economy since 2017....

EU strengthens energy cooperation with Chile, Argentina

This week EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson visited Chile and Argentina to step up cooperation with these two countries in the energy field, with...

Jeffrey Sachs: three times a traitor

An economist with an international reputation, Professor Jeffrey Sachs has increasingly raised his profile in the world media. A U.S. citizen, he accuses his...

European election results show EU is at an inflection point

A few days after the European Parliament elections, Marilena Raouna, Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, sat down with NE Global on the sidelines...

G7 Summit focuses on Ukraine support and shattering Russia’s wartime economy

Despite last week’s expert punditry (itself almost indistinguishable from AI) on the latest G7 decisions as exhibited by the “instant experts” on global issues...

Berlin Ukraine Recovery Conference

Although partially overshadowed by urgent Ukrainian requests for emergency help with its immediate air defense needs, as well as political shockwaves emanating from the...

World Oceans Day calls for action to protect coastal communities and marine ecosystems

UN World Oceans Day, which is officially on June 8, was celebrated on June 7 at UN Headquarters in New York, focusing on protecting...