Theodoros Tsakiris


This paper analyzes the challenges facing EU’s energy security in the natural gas sector since 2013. Despite the improvement of the Union’s internal policy coordination, interconnectivity and market integration, the EU is becoming increasingly dependent on Russia’s Gaz prom, while at the same time alternative sources of gas have become less reliable and a political risk, such as during the 2011 Arab Revolutions. The paper argues that the new gas discoveries of the Eastern Mediterranean could transform the region to a new source of simultaneous supply and transit diversification for the EU. In this context the paper analyzes the gas policies of Eg ypt, Israel and Cyprus to illustrate their net export capacities while highlighting the evolution of EU energ y policy making vis-à-vis the Eastern Med since 2014. It concludes with a comparative analysis of the different export options for the evacuation of East Med Gas to the EU.



EU energy security, geopolitics of natural gas, East Mediterranean gas

Adel, M., (2018, September 4), ‘Damietta LNG plant exports gas again after six-year suspension’, Daily News Egypt, available at, https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/04/damietta-lngplant-

BNP Paris Bank, (2017), ‘Egypt: Bid to become a regional energy hub’, BNP Paris Bank, Economic Research Division: 23-26.

BP, (2011) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011, London: BP

BP, (2014) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, London: BP

BP, (2015) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015, London: BP

BP, (2016) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016, London: BP

BP, (2017) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, London: BP

BP, (2018) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, London: BP

Bryza, M., (2014), ‘Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas: Potential for Historic Breakthroughs among Israel, Turkey, and Cyprus’, in David Koranyi and Sami Andoura (ed.), Energy in the
Eastern Mediterranean: Promise or Peril?, Brussels: Academia Press: 39-46.

Cohen, H., (2016, June 28) ‘Gas execs see Israel-Turkey gas deal by 2017’, Globes. Available at http://www.globes.co.il/en/ article-gas-execs-see-israel-turkey-gas-dealby-2017-1001135479.
Coote, B., (2018), Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector, Washington D.C.: The Atlantic Council Press.

Deutsche Welle, (2018, April 2) ‘Gas, pipeline dreams and gunboat diplomacy in Mediterranean’, DW. Available at https://www.dw.com/en/gas-pipeline-dreams-and-gunboat-diplomacyin-

Dreyer, I. and Stang, G., (2014), Energy moves and power shifts: EU foreign policy and global energy security, Paris: EU Institute for Security Studies.

El-Molla, T. (2018, November 28), ‘Natural Gas accounts for 15% of Egypt GDP’, EgyptOil & Gas Newspaper. Available at https://egyptoil-gas.com/news/el-molla-natural-gasaccounts-

Eran, O, (2018, October), Israel’s Stake in the Egyptian Natural Gas Pipeline: Strategic and Economic Benefits, Israel Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Insight No.1098, Tev Aviv:
INSS. Available at http://www.inss.org.il/publication/israels-stake-in-the-egyptiannatural-gas-pipeline-strategic-and-econo mic-benefits/.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, (2008), Interconnecting Europe: New Perspectives for Trans-European Energy Networks, Brussels: Office of the Official
Publications of the European Communities
European Commission, (2014) Commission Staff Document: In-depth study of European Energy Security Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: European energy security strategy, {COM(2014) 330 final}, Brussels: Office of the Official Publications of the European Communities.

European Commission, (2014) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the European Council: European Energy Security Strategy, SWD(2014) 330 final}, Brussels: Office of the Official Publications of the European Communities, 28/05/2014.

European Commission, Connect Europe Facility, (2017) https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-energy/projects-by-country/multi-country/3.10.1-0028-
cy-s-m-14 & https://ec.europa.eu/ inea/ en/news-events/newsroom/grant-agreementto-finalise-design-euroasia-interconnector-signed-inea-today.

European Commission, Connect Europe Facility, (2017) https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe -facility/cef-energy/projects-by-country/multi-country/7.3.1-0025-
elcy-s-m-15. European Council, (2015) Council conclusions on Energy Diplomacy, 10995/15,CFSP/PESC 414, Brussels: European Council, 20/07/2015.

European Gas Daily, 21/04/2016, p.2.

European Union (2010) Regulation No 994/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010, concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and repealing Council Directive 2004/67/EC, Brussels: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/ HTML/?uri=CELEX: 32010R 0994&from=EN

Gorvett, J., (2018), ‘Risks Posed by Competing Claims to Eastern Mediterranean Oil and Gas Resource’, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June/July 2018: 34-35.

Henderson, S., (2015), Jordan’s Energy Supply Options: The Prospect of Gas Imports from Israel, Washington D.C: German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Henderson, J., and Sharples, J., (2018) Gazprom in Europe, Oxford: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

IEMED, (2017, April 3) ‘Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel agree on implementing a gas pipeline through the Eastern Mediterranean’, IEMED, http://www.iemed.org/actualitat/

International Gas Union, (2017) World LNG Report-2017, Paris: IGU.

Ismail, A., (2017, May 24) ‘Cutting Back on Imported Gas’, Al-Ahram Weekly.

Kafkarides, Y., (2018, October 5) ‘Cyprus announces €500 million tender for LNG terminal’, Kathimerini Cyprus. Available at http://knews.kathimerini.com.cy/en/business/cyprusannounces-%E2%82%AC 500-million-tender-for-lng-terminal.

Kelakos, D., (2018, January 18) ‘The European Commission will fund the technical studies and permitting costs of the East Med with €34,5 million’”, Energypress. Available at https://

Koranyi, D., (2014) The Southern Corridor: Europe’s lifeline?, Rome: Instituto Affari Internazionali.

Koren, H., (2017, July 2) ‘Tamar partners increase gas field estimate by 13%’, Globes.

MacDonald, S, (2018) ‘Here’s How Egypt Could Become a Major Gas Exporter’, The National Interest, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/heres-how-egypt-could-become-major-gasexporter-27056.

Noble Energy, (2017, February 23) ‘Noble Energy Sanctions Leviathan Project Offshore Israel’, Globes. Available at https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/02/23/926886/0/

OGL Editors, (2016, February 2) ‘Revised plan pushes Leviathan development’, Oil & Gas Journal, 25/02/2016, http://www.ogj.com/articles/2016/02/revised-plan-pushesleviathan-

Paton, J, (2014, May 21), ‘Woodside Scraps $2.6 Billion Israeli Gas Deal as Talks Fail’, Bloomberg. Available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-20/woodside-scraps-2-

Pirani, S., (2018), Let’s not exaggerate: Southern Corridor Prospects to 2030, Oxford: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Raines, T., & Tomlinson, S., (2016) Europe’s Energy Union Foreign Policy Implications for Energy Security, Climate and Competitiveness, London: Chatman House Press.

Republic of Cyprus, Press and Information Office, (2017, April 3) ‘Joint Declaration of the East Med Pipeline Ministerial Summit in Tel Aviv’, Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus. Available at https://www.pio.gov.cy/moi/pio/pio2013.nsf/All/3E481E83C28B5163C22580 F7004DD29C? Open Document&L=E.

Reuters, (2017, July 17), ‘Egypt sets sights on doubling natural gas output by 2020’, Reuters.

Stambolis, C., (2018, August 28), ‘Energy: Have Cyprus LNG plans been derailed’, Financial Mirror. Available at http://www.financialmirror.com/blog-details.php?nid=2025.

Stang, G. (2017), Securing the Energy Union: Five pillars and five regions, Paris: EU Institute for Security Studies.

State of Israel, Ministry of Energy, (n.d.) Israeli Gas Opportunities, Tel Aviv: Israeli Energy Ministry. Available at http://www.energy-sea.gov.il/English-Site/PublishingImages/Pages/Forms/EditForm/ Roadshow_2016_ Presentation% 20GD %20Shaul%20Meridor_ Regulatory%20and%20Fiscal%20Regim.pdf.

State of Israel, Ministry of Energy, (2017, November 12) ‘The Petroleum Council Approved the Winning Bids of the First Israeli Offshore Licensing Process’, Israel Ministry of Energy [Press Release]. Available at http://energy.gov.il/English/AboutTheOffice/SpeakerMessages/Pages/ GxmsMniSpokesman Petroleum Council.aspx.

Tagliapietra, S., (2017, May 10) ‘Is the East Med gas pipeline just another EU pipe dream?’, Bruegel. Available at. http://bruegel.org/2017/05/is-the-eastmed-gas-pipeline-justanother-eu-pipe-dream/.

Taranic, I., (2016) ‘European energy policies and their relevance to the Eastern Mediterranean’, in Angelos Giannakopoulos (ed.), Energy Cooperation and Security in the Eastern Mediterranean:
A seismic shift towards peace or conflict?, Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press: 109-123.

Tanchun, M., (2017, April 13), ‘EU Backs Israel to Italy pipeline to alter East Med energy chessboard’, Hurriyet Daily News. Available at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.
com/eu-backs-israel-to-italy-pipeline-to-alter-east-med-energ y-chessboard aspx?pageID=238&nID=111949&NewsCatID=396.

Udasin, S, (2016, September 26), ‘Israel to supply gas to Jordan in $10 billion deal’, Jerusalem Post.

Udasin, S., (2017, April 3) ‘Israel, European states advance plans for world’s largest underwatergas pipeline’, Jerusalem Post.