Trisha Shetty

Energy Triangle

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Energy Triangle

The Energy Triangle refers to the joint natural gas extraction between Cyprus, Israel and Greece that began in 2015. Officials from all three countries agreed to the establishment of a gas pipeline from the Aphrodite gas field, Leviathan gas field, and Tamar gas field to a liquefied natural gas plant in the Vasilikos Power Station by 2019. According to Noble Energy, the total gross unrisked deep oil potential is enough to cover the supply of natural gas to Europe for 20 years.

Contents

Term

The term "Energy Triangle" was firstly issued at the Cyprus-Israel Business Association in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2010. Due to the joint establishment of the Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Cyprus and Israel, this marked the beginning of an increasing collaboration between the two Mediterranean neighbors. Both countries agreed to a joint extraction of natural gas by the American company Noble Energy in order to reduce the financial burden of extraction by both countries. Shortly after the exchange of representatives between Israel and Cyprus, the Gaza flotilla raid occurred in 2010, thus destroying the Israeli-Turkish relations and pushing Israel towards a closer alliance with Greece. Since 2011 Greece joined Israel and Cyprus in the plan to export natural gas to Europe by 2015 through a power plant close to Limassol. Besides natural gas evidence is mounting for the existence of oil in the Levantine Basin. For the record no oil well has yet to be drilled in the Cypriot EEZ while Noble Energy is planning to drill for oil in the Leviathan field, probably during the second quarter of 2014. Several factors point to oil and gas reserves, namely, the discovery of thermogenic natural gas, working hydrocarbon systems, and the identification of at least 14 hydrocarbon plays in the Cyprus EEZ alone. According to an article authored by Dr C. Hadjistassou, academic at the University of Nicosia, oil could be exploited within a shorter frame than natural gas, at least in the case of Cyprus.

Volume of gas fields

A gross reserve of 4.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas lies in Block 12 of Cyprus’s Exclusive economic zone that Noble Energy has found and will submit a development plan. After drilling no wells and locating no target drilling areas, Total relinquished Cyprus's Block 10 with no reserves found and, in March 2015, signed for continuing its exploration of Cyprus's Block 11 until February 2016. Noble Energy and Delek Group are the most competitive companies bidding for offshore exploration licenses in both Cyprus and Israel. The two companies, along with other explorers, have discovered a reported 26 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Leviathan and Tamar fields worth some 200 billion euros at today’s prices. This is enough gas to supply Israel’s needs for 150 years and Cyprus for 200 years. In August 2015 at Egypt's exclusive economic zone, located only 6 km from Cyprus's Block 11, Eni discovered the Zohr field's estimated 30 tcf of natural gas in the Shorouk concession. Large oil and natural gas reserves are anticipated to be located in the Ionian Sea and Libyan Sea; within Greece's territorial waters. Preliminary survey results regarding the size and locations of the deposits are expected to be released in late 2013.

Exporting of natural gas

Energy Ministers of both Cyprus and Israel in 2011 announced that the two countries will export some of their gas, reportedly examining plans to ship liquefied natural gas, or LNG. The Cypriot media reported that the country could receive natural gas from Israel in early 2015, at reduced prices, if discussions on the supply of small quantities are completed by 2012. This plan stated that Cyprus would import by ship only enough natural gas to power its 450-megawatt Vassilikos power plant. Discussions are also held regarding the exporting of natural gas through a proposed pipeline that comprises a pipeline from Israel’s Tamar, Leviathan and Cyprus Block 12 to Cyprus, where Gazprom has committed to provide a floating LNG terminal to convert Israeli and Cypriot gas for onward transmission, then, an LNG pipeline connecting Cyprus with Crete, and, finally, an LNG pipeline from Crete to mainland Greece and then to Italy and Bulgaria to the rest of Europe. In October 2015, Cyprus's Energy Minister, Giorgos Lakkotrypis, and Egypt's Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El Molla discussed bilateral agreements over oil and gas cooperation.

On 19 October 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to allow major concessions for Gazprom to develop the Leviathan reserves.

Tripartite energy memorandum

On 8 August 2013, Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed the tripartite energy memorandum of understanding after the completion of one year negotiation in Nicosia. Negotiations were held between the Energy and Water Resources Minister of Israel Silvan Shalom, the Cypriot minister of agriculture, natural resources and environment Nicos Kouyialis and the Greek minister of environment, energy and climate change George Lakkotrypis. The 2,000-mega-watt EuroAsia Interconnector is planned to lift Cyprus and Israel out of energy isolation through cheaper electricity as supported by George Lakkotrypis. Silvan Shalom announced that the agreement is "historic" and insisted that it demonstrated the powerful relations between the three countries adding that the electric conduit will become a cable and is going to export electricity to the European energy market. The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras proclaimed on 8 August 2013 that Israel has a special role to play in supplying Europe with energy resources and supported that it can become a key energy hub. His statement at the White House occurred a few hours after the signing of an 800-million-Euro agreement to lay the EuroAsia Interconnector cable connecting the three country's power grids.

References

Energy Triangle Wikipedia


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