Israel Signs Major Deal to Lay Gas Pipeline to Europe

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli gas platform is seen in the Mediterranean Sea. (Reuters/Amir Cohen, File)

After two years of negotiations, Israel will begin exporting natural gas to Europe, Hadashot News reported Sunday. An underwater gas pipeline will be built between Israel and Cyprus, Greece and Italy. Backing for the pipeline is coming from the European Union, as well as Abu Dhabi. Construction on the pipeline will commence in the coming months.

The pipeline will extend for some 2,000 kilometers, and it will be built 3.5 kilometers below the sea surface. The gas will be available for sale to southern European countries, as wells Balkan and central European countries.

The plan was first presented two years ago by Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz. Abu-Dhabi agreed to invest $100 million in the project, and EU funding followed. The final deal will be reviewed by all the partners this week, the report said. The pipeline is expected to be operational within five years, and will net Israel significant amounts of foreign income, the report added.