Fatih Birol: The Eastern Mediterranean does not change the terms of the "game"

Fatih Birol: The Eastern Mediterranean does not change the terms of the "game"
Gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean region are unlikely to change the terms of the "game", given the growing supply to the world gas market, according to IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

Speaking to the Anadolu news agency, Fatih Birol noted that the discovery of new gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean has put some countries in the spotlight, but the feasibility, the political challenges and the existence of other large gas producers impose barriers on projects, which as a result might have a significant impact on the gas market.

"Qatar's liquefied natural gas - he emphasizes - has a very dominant role in the Mediterranean and its market".

"With Qatar, according to him, the US LNG and the incoming offer from Israel and Egypt, it seems very difficult to have a financially viable major project in the Eastern Mediterranean, other than the fact that there are some political issues".

At the moment, Qatar is at the top in the world with regard to LNG exports for 12 consecutive years, while the US is seeking to increase their LNG exports thanks to abundant shale gas.

"With these facts - as he added - as well as the political difficulties, it is not right to expect a significant change in the terms of the game due to the East Mediterranean gas. There is plenty of natural gas".

The gas reserves in Israel's Leviathan deposit are estimated at 620 billion cubic meters, while offshore discoveries in Tamar are estimated to contain 280 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Total gas reserves in the Zohr field in Egypt are about 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas, while the Noor field in June it was estimated to contain 2.55 trillion cubic meters of gas, making it among the largest in the world.

"Egypt first wanted to use this natural gas for its domestic consumption and recently started exporting gas. There will be significant exports of LNG from Egypt. They also discovered the Noor field", Fatih Birol says.

"Israel has plans to export LNG in the future or to integrate it with the Egyptian infrastructure. At present, however, it uses natural gas for domestic consumption", he added.

There are more gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean

However, as was noted by the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, there is an oversupply of gas on the world market.

"A new significant wave of production is coming to the LNG sector", he added.

The Global gas production has steadily increased to 3.68 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in 2017, from 2.94 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in 2007; an increase of 25.2%, while liquefied natural gas imports rose to 393.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2017, from 356.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2016, an annual leap of 10.3%, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

The three countries that will become global leaders in gas exports in 2025 are, according to Fatih Birol, the US, Qatar and Australia.

Turkey should focus on gas storage, which currently accounts for 10% of the country's gas consumption.

The ratio of natural gas storage capacity to domestic gas consumption is around 25% worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency's Executive Director"./IBNA

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