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Gas Supply and Transiting Issues in SE Europe Highlighted in This Year’s «Flame» Conference

Gas Supply and Transiting Issues in SE Europe Highlighted in This Year’s «Flame» ConferenceThe major issues concerning gas supply and transiting in SE Europe and the East Mediterranean were highlighted in a special session which was organized as part of this year’s “Flame” conference which took place in Amsterdam between May 14-17

The major issues concerning gas supply and transiting in SE Europe and the East Mediterranean were highlighted in a special session which was organized as part of this year’s "Flame” conference which took place in Amsterdam between May 14-17. The session entitled "Connecting SE Europe” and moderated by the well-known Israeli energy expert Gina Cohen, included presentations by Eser Ozdil from Turkey’s PETFORM, Dr. Charles Ellinas from Cyprus’ e-CNHC, Dr. Theodore Tsakiris from Nicosia Business School, Ms. Gulmira Rzayeva from the Centre of Strategic Studies (SAM) of Azerbaijan and Costis Stambolis, Executive Director of IENE.

The timely completion of the huge TANAP pipeline and the near completion of TAP and the planned construction of new interconnectors, such as IGB, new FSRU terminals in Greece, Turkey and Croatia have helped create a buoyant atmosphere in anticipation of positive market developments. Consequently, there is much discussion, especially among politicians, on the region’s emergence as a major gas hub, vital for European gas supply. This is an issue which IENE’s Executive Director expanded upon as he dispelled current speculation on Greece’s potential role as a key regional energy hub, critical to regional gas transiting.

"Latest talk by Greek government authorities and various local think tanks promoting the idea of a Greece based regional energy hub can only be seen as politically motivated, in trying to gain points for Greece in the East Med geopolitical arena”, observed Stambolis. "Our view is that because of strong geophysical and geopolitical limitations Greece cannot, at least in the foreseeable future, place itself at the epicenter of regional energy flows and related activity. Such role is clearly reserved for Turkey which is far more suitable geographically and in terms of energy flows, to play the role of a major regional energy hub”.

"That said Greece can still have a role, although a secondary one, if it can manage to reorganize its assets and develop a serious gas trading activity as there will be need for gas volumes to be directed north (via IGB and the Vertical Corridor in the first place) or North West (via East Med in the second place). Anticipated additional LNG capacity through the expanded Revithousa LNG terminal (2018) or the planned FSRU in Alexandroupolis (2020) and underground gas storage (in South Kavala), can further enhance the trading aspect of a Greece based "gas trading hub”. But even the development of regional gas trading activity emanating from Greece will require well designed (i.e. reverse flow) and fully operational gas interconnectors (Greece to Bulgaria, Greece to Turkey, Greece to FYROM and Greece to Italy) and the further opening up of gas markets in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. Although these markets are now set for liberalization, it could take at least three to four years for them to function to such an extent as to allow reasonable cross border gas trade to develop throughout the region”, concluded Mr. Stambolis.

IENE EVENTS 3rd SEE Hydrocarbons Upstream Workshop

PUBLICATIONS SEEEO 2016-2017 SEEED More

COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS IEA WEC Energy Community BBSPA EPG AERS ROEC BPIE RCEN Geothermal Finance and Awareness in European Regions