The Egyptian Minister told CNA that signing the agreement for building a gas pipeline between Cyprus and Egypt gives way to the acceleration of the process after constitutional and legal procedures of both countries have been dealt with. “This shall then be followed by a commercial agreement for the project,” he said.
El-Molla highlighted the many benefits to come for the island, as operating within the framework of the recently established Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), would provide Cyprus with quick monetization of its current reserves, potential increase in future discoveries and integration with other parties in the value chain, opening new opportunities of cooperation and stable technical and commercial cooperation.
The East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) is based in Egypt and its current participants are: Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Palestine. EMGF’s objective is the optimal joint exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The Minister told CNA that EMGF will build a structured dialogue between all parties across the Gas value chain such as, Producers, Consumers, Transits countries as well as industry parties. This will in turn enable integration and shared use of existing and future infrastructure. It will significantly impact the feasibility thresholds of new infrastructure allowing small reserves to be quickly monetized.
Tarek El-Molla described Egypt as “the most ready option with the least risk” for gas supply of Europe, due to the good political relations with everyone and his country’s new business environment. He further added that Egypt is the best option both economically and politically for all East Med Gas to access potential markets and that existing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities and infrastructure give Egypt a competitive edge, making it the most economic option.
Answering CNA’s question, “How important is the newly established Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum for your country?” Tarek El-Molla replies:
“Egypt is embarking on an ambitious program to become a regional energy hub. With Gas as the most important pillar, we do not intend to depend only on the Egyptian resources and facilities. Our endeavor is to be the gate for all East Med Gas to access potential markets. We are constantly enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation with all the relevant partners; an obvious example is the Egyptian – Cypriot – Greek cooperation going on the highest level. It’s now time to extend an umbrella to include all these cooperation efforts and to set a mechanism for a structured policy dialogue to build a shared vision and set the scene for a stable regional gas market; one that can optimally utilize the current and future infrastructure to reduce cost and keep competitive edge, minimize risk, and encourage the quick monetization of the regional reserves and attract more investments in the gas industry in East Med.”