Turkish daily "Hurriyet Daily News" quotes Energy Minister Taner Yıldız as saying that Turkey will not agree to an energy project with Israel without the approval of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on an Israeli offer to lay an undersea natural gas pipeline to Turkey for export to Europe. He told CNBC-e, "We can’t act like nothing ever happened. We won’t operate a project with Israel without seeing that the conditions put by the prime minister are met [first]."
"Hurriyet" says, "Israel has offered to lay an undersea natural gas pipeline to Turkey’s south coast in order to sell energy to Europe. The Leviathan field, Israel’s biggest, contains an estimated 425 billion cubic meters of natural gas, and the field will produce enough gas to supply all of Israel’s needs for the coming years. As such, the country is looking to export the excess gas."
The paper quotes Taner as saying that Turkey’s main objective is to benefit from its geographical advantages and cooperate with its neighbors on energy, but Israel knows Turkey’s sore points, adding, “Unless the political conditions mature, beginning these kinds of projects is risky."
On Thursday, "Globes" reported that, in the past few weeks, the partners in the Leviathan gas field have received queries from some of Turkey's biggest companies and Western multinationals operating in the country interested in buying natural gas from the reservoir.
"Hurriyet" cites Israeli newspapers as suggesting that Turkey’s Zorlu Energy Group could become involved in the project. "The company said it has been an important energy player in Israel and has shares in several power plants in the country, adding that the idea of laying an undersea pipeline between the two countries had been broached several times in business meetings but official offer has been made. In Israel, Zorlu owns a 25% stake in Dorad Energy, which is developing a power plant in Ashkelon. It also has a 42% interest in cogeneration projects at the Ashdod and Ramat Negev plants."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 17, 2013
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