Israel’s Energy Minister to meet with Turkish counterpart in Istanbul next week

Energy ministers to meet during 23rd World Energy Congress in Turkey next week; First Israeli official to meet with Turkish officials since 2010; Meeting to center on “export of gas from Israel to Turkey”

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Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz will travel to Istanbul this week to meet with Turkish officials and attend the 23rd World Energy Congress. It will be the first visit by an Israeli official to Turkey in over three years.

Steinitz, who serves as Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources and as head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, is scheduled to meet with Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, the first official meeting between Israeli and Turkish officials since 2010.

According to Steinitz’s office, the leaders are set to discuss the “export of gas from Israel to Turkey, and cooperation on energy matters between the two countries.”

The meeting comes as Israel develops into the region’s major natural energy supplier, with increased talks and negotiations with states in the region on natural gas exports from Israel.

On September 27th, Israel’s gas consortium signed a historic agreement to provide Jordan with over $10 billion in natural gas. The agreement was Israel’s first energy export deal and will span over 15 years with gas deliveries from Israel’s Leviathan gas field to began as early as 2019. The agreement will provide Jordan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas. A previous deal was made with Jordan in 2014 with Noble Energy for gas exports from Israel’s Tamar gas field which will begin this year.

Israel’s Leviathan gas field holds a reported 22 trillion cubic feet of gas, its Tamar gas field holding over 7 trillion cubic feet, making Israel the largest and most sought-after natural gas supplier in the region.

In February, Israel, Greece and Cyprus announced the creation of a regional trilateral committee to increase cooperative agreements and relations in the fields of energy, tourism, technology and research, mainly that of the construction of a pipeline for gas exports from Israel’s gas reserves to Cyprus and Greece.

In August, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travelled to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin on strengthening diplomatic ties as well as talks on progressing with the proposed TurkStream natural gas pipeline. Russia has been in negotiations with Turkey on a gas pipeline since 2014, both states announcing in August plans to pursue with the development of the pipeline.