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The five year stalemate around the giant gas field named Leviathan, located offshore Israel, might be finally resolved after a chain of events alarmed politicians and energy strategists in the only patch of land with not a drop of oil. Personally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped into the ring, displaying readiness to take the full responsibility for precipitating the stalled project against all odds, which are many. But first came the lightening news of the Italian energy major Eni discovering the Zohr gas deposit offshore Egypt with an estimated resource bas of some 850 bcm (the largest find since 1967). It turned into a game changer, diminishing the prospects of Israel to reach out to potential customers in Egypt and, for fear of Zohr’s export potential, to other energy hungry clients in the vicinity.
The gas bonanza, which befell Egypt, led to a close shave vote in the Knesset that approved a controversial framework deal on the Leviathan field development by a consortium of Houston-based oil company Noble Energy and Israeli company Delek Group.
IAEE President-Elect Prof. Kumbaroglu, Chairman of the Turkish Energy Policy Center at Boğaziçi University and DEPA Vice Chairman Prof. Andriosopoulos, Director of the Research Center for Energy Management at ESCP Europe Business School, have agreed at the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit on the mutual benefit of regional cooperation to establish a Joint Gas Hub.
Establishing a natural gas hub at the Greek-Turkish border would benefit both countries and the EU by providing a reference point where gas prices are determined through competition from different sources of gas, IAEE President-Elect Kumbaroglu and DEPA’s Vice Chairman Andriosopoulos declared jointly.