An Israeli Ministry of Energy delegate supported on Athens Energy Forum, held on 28 January, that Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy agreed to step up their efforts for the construction of the EastMed natural gas pipeline. The Israeli Director of the Natural Gas International Trade, Orit Ganor revealed that the quartet will sign an intergovernmental agreement over EastMed in due course.
The Israeli Director argued that the main Israeli field of Leviathan would supply with 500 billion cubic metres the EastMed pipeline. However the Director also stressed that the project’s viability requires the discovery and drilling of additional fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coasts of Greece and Cyprus. The U.S. and the E.U. consider the Leviathian field and adjacent areas as a potential solution in diversifying energy resources and progressively diminishing reliance on Russian gas exports. The quartet agreed to the construction of the EastMed pipeline last November. The 170 kilometre pipeline would connects the coasts of Cyprus with Otranto, Italy. The pipeline is expected to cross the island of Crete. Early estimations value the project over €7 billion.
On 14 January 2019 six countries and a political entity decided to establish a forum which would support the eventual establishment of an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Market. The participatory states entailed Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy and Jordan as well as the Palestinian Authority. The EastMed gas market aspires to normalise regional demand and supply levels of gas exports, moderate infrastructural and pipeline maintenance costs, and designate competitive prices in the energy industry.