Turkish, Israeli, Indian Officials Meet In Ankara Over Med Stream
Turkish Press, 9/14/2008
ANKARA – Turkish, Israeli and Indian officials met in Ankara this week over the Med Stream, a multi-purpose offshore pipeline project to connect Turkey and Israel via the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey and Israel have reaffirmed their full support earlier for an energy corridor which will join the two countries via the construction of sub sea multiple pipelines transporting oil, natural gas, water, as well as electricity and establishment of fiber optic cable line in accordance with feasibility studies. The pipeline could reduce the time it takes to transport crude to eastern and southern Asia. India is highly interested in the project to import oil via Turkey and Israel, said Hezi Kugler, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure. Feasibility studies are planned to begin by the end of this year and would be completed in the summer of 2009, Israeli official told the A.A. It is estimated to cost around 8 million euros. Israel supplies 90 percent of its oil need from the Black Sea and carries crude to Israeli ports by ships. Kugler said construction of the pipeline would start at the end of 2009, the earliest, or in 2010. He said it would take at least more than a year to finish the construction works. India is interested in the project as the pipeline would be short and economical for transportation, Kugler said. He added that India would get the better of time and cost as soon as the project is implemented.
Normally, crude is shipped to Far East in 50 days but when the Med Stream is completed it would take 19 days to transport crude from the Red Sea. It would also reduce vessel traffic at Turkish straits. Turkey, Israel and India are expected to present their letters of intention to each other after completing their studies on the project, Kugler said. Mutual covenants are also expected be completed within a month, he said. Kugler said that several other Asian countries, including China, could also be interested in the Med Stream project once the feasibility report is finished. Meanwhile, Israeli officials are still insistent on buying water from Turkey. An earlier project to carry water from Turkey`s Meditteranen coast to Israel through containers was a high-cost project, Israeli officials said. However, they said purification of sea water was costly as well. All pipelines in the world pump natural gas and oil but water transportation through pipelines has not been tried before, they said. “That`s why such an attempt requires deliberate technical work and infrastructure,” officials said.