IBNA/Energy Ministers: Enhanced energy co-operation between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt

IBNA/Energy Ministers: Enhanced energy co-operation between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt

The 6th Tripartite Summit of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, was completed with a positive sign in Elouda, Crete, where the leaders of the three countries and the Ministers who participated certified the strategic co-operation that enhances the security, stability and prosperity of the Southeastern Mediterranean region.

On the sidelines of the summit, Energy Ministers who were at the centre of talks, spoke exclusively to IBNA, about the importance of this summit and the developments in the energy sector.

Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Giorgos Stathakis

One of the main issues discussed today in the context of the 6th Tripartite Summit between Greece, Cyprus & Egypt is that of energy policy. Can you comment on the prospects in this area in the framework of the trilateral co-operation?

“As you know, the three countries are of strategic importance in terms of the new hydrocarbon fields that have been found in the southeastern Mediterranean and which will be used. Therefore, the issues are common for the three countries. There is co-operation in progressing with the hydrocarbon exploration and the way natural gas will be transferred to Europe, which is the primary market interested in it. LNG hubs are also relevant to this, as are the pipelines. This is what our discussions are about.”

According to sources, the Egyptian side is interested in participating in the East Med project. Is this accurate?

“I think it is too early for one to think so. There is an ongoing discussion. At later meetings we will see how and under what circumstances such a co-operation could go ahead.”

Should we expect the tripartite co-operation to expand soon?

“As you know, we will move on to the next phase with the East Med at the centre of attention. Other meetings will also follow though, with Egypt too, among others.”

Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry & Tourism, Georgios Lakkotrypis 

What were the conclusions of the tripartite summit, energy wise?

“We discussed energy and the latest developments on the summit’s sidelines but at leaders level as well, and how these bring us a step closer to what we call eastern Mediterranean natural gas corridor, which is none other than our effort to deliver the region’s natural gas to the European Union via Cyprus, Egypt and Greece. The various ongoing projects were discussed, such as the study on the East Med pipeline, and developments regarding the LNG terminals in Revithousa and Alexandroupolis – as you heard the Greek PM say – which will be particularly useful to the creation of the corridor, especially if some of the natural gas transferred from the east Mediterranean is in liquid form. We also discussed future developments and the next steps for better co-ordination. You also heard about the agreement of the three countries regarding the organisation of a forum at the beginning of next year, in an effort to expand it.”

Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El-Molla

What are your expectations following the 6th trilateral meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt in terms of energy projects?

“It is all going towards the right direction. This is how we showcase and highlight what we have begun working on, which is a fully fledged co-operation in the energy sector. After this meeting, I think that we are more confident about this collaboration being further strengthened in the energy sector and especially gas. Gas now is the name of the game in the east Mediterranean and, in a wider term, in the Mediterranean there is a new resource and energy where all the developments and work will be focusing on collaboration between the countries, fully maximising the resource (gas) between the producers, the countries we all know and the consumers themselves.

When we talk about consumers, we mean consumers in the Mediterranean and specifically in Europe. So, if we say that the three countries are fully co-ordinated in this regard, I think that a wider co-operation and alignment between more countries within the Mediterranean (region) with regard to gas will be definitely reached since we (already) have this full alignment between the three countries. There is full understanding, full alignment and complete comprehension. Reserves have been found in Egypt, in Cyprus, possibly in Greece, too since drilling has started there also. So, hopefully, we will be able to maximise co-operation as far as gas and energy are concerned, with energy being the main lever which all countries can use to base their economy on.”

Are the countries supportive of each other and friendly to each other stability and security wise?

“The countries are 100% aligned. There is understanding between the leaders while there is also agreement over the followed policies.”… / IBNA