The practicalities and specifically, the infrastructure needs of connecting Israeli gas to the Southern Gas Corridor will make it difficult to accomplish, Agnia Grigas, energy and political risks expert, non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Trend Oct.17.
Earlier, Cemil Ertem, advisor to the Turkish president, said that Turkey wants to connect Israeli gas supplies to the Southern Gas Corridor project.
“First, there are legal and legislative restrictions on Israel’s gas exports with about half of the gas stipulated for Israel’s domestic consumption,” said Grigas.
“More importantly, laying a pipeline to connect to the Southern Gas Corridor or any other pipeline system will be difficult in the unstable and conflict-prone environment of the Middle East,” she said. “Terrorist attacks can be carried out on and from Egyptian territory, Gaza Strip, and Lebanon making a land route and even a water route problematic.”
Political tensions over the status of Cyprus complicate the option of basing a pipeline or LNG terminal there, added the expert. Thus the proposed project remains highly difficult to implement, but it does not mean that this will be impossible in the long term with changes in the political and security situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to Grigas.
She pointed out that gas may eventually prove to be an effective form of diplomacy and bring together previously non-cooperative states. The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. Other sources can also join this project at a later stage. As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of TANAP and TAP.