Egypt: The Eastern Mediterranean's Next Natural Gas Hub?

MIN READSep 5, 2016 | 13:00 GMT

Egypt: The Eastern Mediterranean's Next Natural Gas Hub?
On Aug. 31, Egypt and Cyprus signed a preliminary deal for an underwater pipeline. For Egypt, the deal is part of a broader strategy to position itself as a hub of energy development and consumption.

(Albatross via Getty Images)

A string of sizable natural gas discoveries has been made in the eastern Mediterranean Sea over the past decade, and Egypt is working to ensure that it reaps the benefits. On Aug. 31, Cairo signed a preliminary deal with Cyprus to build an underwater pipeline linking Cyprus' Aphrodite gas field with the Egyptian coastline. If the project overcomes the considerable hurdles that still lie in its path, including uncertain funding, the pipeline could be operational by 2020, enabling Cyprus to finally begin producing from its largest known natural gas deposit. For Egypt, though, the deal is but one small part of a much broader strategy. As the promise of eastern Mediterranean energy draws in significant amounts of foreign investment, Cairo hopes to become the center of regional natural gas development. And it will no doubt be successful, since without Egypt's infrastructure and massive consumer market, many of the projects under consideration...

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