Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Turkey plans to extend gas, oil and water pipelines to Israel

By The Associated Press

"Turkey and Israel have tentatively agreed on building a network of pipelines to ship oil, natural gas and water from Turkey to Israel,
the The Turkish Energy Ministry said Tuesday.

Under the project, a pipeline already carrying Russian natural gas to Turkey will be extended to deliver supplies to Israel, the ministry said. The deal was reached earlier this month during a visit to Israel by Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, the ministry said.

It was not clear when the deal would be finalized or when construction would begin.

Turkey and Russia have agreed to hold talks on extending a pipeline from the Black Sea port of Samsun to Turkey's Ceyhan oil terminal on the Mediterranean and then to Israel, the ministry said.

The oil shipments to Israel would be delivered through an extension of either an existing Iraqi oil pipeline to Ceyhan or one that Turkey is planning to build from Samsun to Ceyhan to export Caspian oil, the ministry said.

Turkey would also build a new fresh water pipeline to carry Turkish water from the Mediterranean region to Israel.

Turkey and Israel have been discussing fresh water supplies to Israel for several years. However, Turkish plans to transfer oil and gas outside Turkey is a sign of the country's desire to become a regional energy hub for routes bypassing Iran.

Turkey also plans to transfer natural gas to Lebanon, but it was not clear whether those shipments would be made through the same pipeline network that would supply Israel."

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