Turkey Interested in Israeli Natural Gas


Despite the collapse of reconciliation talks over the Mavi Marmara incident, Turkey has expressed interest in doing business with Israel in the energy sector, Globes reports.

“Turkey is interested in Israeli gas,” said Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz at an energy conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.

“Although there are political problems, they are solvable,” he said.

Israeli energy companies and foreign companies operating in Israel, such as Noble Energy, participated in the European Energy Summit, hosted by the U.K. weekly The Economist.

They discussed laying a pipeline from the Leviathan gas field to southern Turkey at a cost of $2-3 billion. The pipeline has a potential for supplying 8-10 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas a year to Turkey.

Most of the gas would be used by Turkey’s rapidly growing economy, and some would probably be sent from Turkey to Greece and other EU countries. Turkey, which has no gas reserves of its own, currently imports 44 BCM a year, two-thirds from Russia and the rest from Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria.

Only a price of at least $10 per million BTU would justify exporting Israeli gas to Turkey, estimates APCO Worldwide Istanbul managing director Zeynep Dereli.

However, she noted that settling the political disputes among Cyprus, Turkey, and Israel was a precondition for any deal on gas exports.