World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish and Israeli companies are currently discussing a possible gas pipeline to be built between Israel and Turkey to transport natural gas supplies from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Europe. The field holds an estimated 620 billion cubic meters of gas.
Speaking on the sidelines of 17th International Energy Arena in Istanbul, Oberlander said the Leviathan gas field is the biggest discovery of the Eastern Mediterranean discovered seven years ago.
“Leviathan's full development is going to be 2.1 billion cubic feet [bcf] a day, roughly 21 billion cubic meters [bcm] of natural gas a year. This is one of the largest offshore projects in oil and gas in the last year and a half,” he said.
“When we look at the area, we see first of all the domestic Israeli market, and then we see the Palestinian Authority, we see Jordan, and in the second phase we see two bigger regional markets that are Turkey and Egypt,” he added.
The first phase of the Leviathan development project will supply the Israeli domestic market, the Palestinian authority and Jordan, while the second phase is planned to supply Turkey and Egypt, according to Oberlander.
With regards to the development of regional markets, three major areas can be considered to forge ahead with developing energy relations.
"We see Turkey not just as a gas market but also as a big economy with great people having regional significance in the area. We see [that] Egypt's domestic market which has abundant natural gas and lack of supply to the domestic market is growing rapidly. And we also see Egyptian energy facilities with established infrastructure and no construction risk,” he explained.
Turkey is seen as a significant potential partner, and the next step is to put words and plans into action, he said, adding that he expects greater bilateral relations.
The construction of the pipeline requires quite a lot of technical work and intergovernmental and commercial agreements between the governments, Oberlander concluded.