02:15 GMT28 May 2020
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    Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said that Israel will discuss a pipeline project to export gas to and through Turkey once the two countries normalize relations.

    HOUSTON (Sputnik) – Israel will discuss a pipeline project to export gas to and through Turkey once the two countries normalize relations, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz told reporters at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Texas.

    “Once this [normalization] takes place, and I hope this will take place in a few months’ time or in a few weeks’ time, I would hope, then I think we will be able to discuss and to plan this project, the pipeline going through Israeli economic water directly to Turkey’s, it might serve Israeli fields, and also Cypriot field. They need also to export most of their gas, of course,” Steinitz said on Wednesday.

    In late January, Tel Aviv, Nicosia and Athens agreed to work on joint projects to export gas from the Eastern Mediterranean’s gas reserves discovered in the seas belonging to Israel and Cyprus to Europe.

    Ankara has been in talks with Israeli firms over a potential pipeline to carry Israeli natural gas to Turkey for several years, but the negotiations reached an impasse as relations between the two countries deteriorated.

    Relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorated after the Freedom Flotilla incident in 2010, when a convoy of six ships, including one under Turkey's flag, tried to approach the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid and activists on board. The flotilla was blocked and stormed by Israeli forces, with eight Turkish citizens being killed.

    Currently, Israel’s Leviathan gas field, first drilled in 2011, is one of the largest young gas reserves in the world, with some 3,450 trillion cubic meters of natural gas of undiscovered reserves.


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