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European Union energy supply security: The benefits of natural gas imports from the Eastern Mediterranean

Isabella Ruble

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 105, issue C, 341-353

Abstract: This paper analyzes the potential of Eastern Mediterranean offshore natural gas discoveries to increase EU natural gas supply security. It presents an overview of, the status quo of EU-28 natural gas import dependency, the efforts to increase energy security through various measures, and the challenges to supply diversification. It further provides an analysis of the energy and offshore resource sectors of Egypt, Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon. The paper presents projections of domestic natural gas consumption needs for the years 2012–2042 and results show that potentially large quantities will be available for exports. An empirical model is used to analyze the capital and transmission costs for exporting gas to Europe via the East Med pipeline. The East Med pipeline project is discussed in the broader context of other regional supply options as well as potential U.S. LNG exports to Europe. The paper concludes that the East Med pipeline, which has been classified as a project of Common Interest by the EU, should receive policy priority as its benefits in terms of security of supply go beyond those that can be captured in a competitive market, and the positive externalities that it provides justify a ‘security premium’.

Keywords: Natural gas; Energy security; Energy policy; European Union; Eastern Mediterranean (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:341-353