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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07USEUBRUSSELS3343 2007-11-15 15:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL USEU Brussels
Cable title:  

EU-EGYPT ENERGY FORUM AND ARAB GAS PIPELINE

Tags:   EPET EUN XF XG 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBS #3343 3191502
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 151502Z NOV 07
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L USEU BRUSSELS 003343 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2017
TAGS: EPET EUN XF XG
SUBJECT: EU-EGYPT ENERGY FORUM AND ARAB GAS PIPELINE

REF: SECSTATE 153799

Classified By: USEU EST CHIEF THOMAS SMITHAM, REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D)



1. (C) IN RESPONSE TO REFTEL REQUESTING INFORMATION ON THE
RECENT EU-AFRICA-MIDDLE EAST ENERGY CONFERENCE IN SHARM EL
SHEIKH, MISSION CONTACTED EU COMMISSION OFFICIALS IN DG RELEX
(FOREIGN AFFAIRS) AND DG TREN (ENERGY) WHO ATTENDED THE
CONFERENCE.

EU-AFRICA-ENERGY CONFERENCE


--------------------------




2. (C) IN GENERAL, THE COMMISSION VIEWS THE CONFERENCE AS A
SUCCESS. ALTHOUGH SIGURD SCHMIDT AT TREN EXPRESSED
DISAPPOINTMENT ABOUT THE LACK OF HIGH LEVEL REPRESENTATIVES,
FAUZI BENSARSA AT RELEX HIGHLIGHTED THE FACT THAT 69
COUNTRIES PARTICIPATED (COMPLETE LIST AVAILABLE FROM GOE)
DESPITE NUMEROUS SCHEDULING CONFLICTS. OVERALL, THE
COMMISSION SEES THIS CONFERENCE AS THE INAUGURATION OF A NEW
FORMAT FOR TECHNICAL DIALOGUE ON REGIONAL ENERGY SECURITY.

ARAB GAS PIPLINE: CURRENT STATUS


--------------------------




3. (C) THE ARAB GAS PIPELINE WAS DISCUSSED IN THE CONTEXT OF
THE COMMON INTEREST OF ENERGY PRODUCERS, CONSUMERS AND
TRANSIT COUNTRIES ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE. ALTHOUGH THERE
HAS BEEN NO FORMAL EU ASSESSMENT OF THE PIPELINE, CONTACTS AT
TREN AND RELEX EXPRESSED SATISFACTION WITH THE SECTION NOW IN
OPERATION. CURRENTLY THE PIPELINE LINKS EL ARISH, EGYPT TO EL
RIHAB, JORDAN (24 KILOMETERS SOUTH OF THE SYRIAN BORDER).


4. (C) ACCORDING TO BENSARSA AND SCHMIDT, SYRIA IS NOW
WORKING ON EXTENDING THE PIPELINE TOWARD THE TURKISH BORDER.
THEY, HOWEVER, REFUSED TO COMMENT ON THE COMPANY CONTRACTED
BY SYRIA TO EXTEND THE PIPELINE

PLANS FOR EXTENSION: IRAQ (YES), ISRAEL (NO)


--------------------------




5. (C) BENSARSA ALSO STATED THAT SYRIA WAS BUILDING A LINK TO
IRAQ. SIGMUND CLARIFIED THAT ALTHOUGH CONSTRUCTION HAS NOT
ACTUALLY BEGUN, THERE WAS STRONG OPTIMISM THAT IT WOULD GIVEN
THE POSTIVE RESULTS FROM TEST DRILLING IN THE ANBAR PROVINCE.
BENSARSA SAID THAT AN ADDITIONAL LINK TO ISRAEL WAS JUDGED
POLITICALLY IMPOSSIBLE GIVEN CURRENT ISRAELI-SYRIAN RELATIONS.

EU INVOLVEMENT


--------------------------




6. (C) BENSARSA REPORTS THAT THE EU HAS NOW PLEDGED ITS FULL
SUPPORT FOR COMPLETING THE ARAB GAS PIPELINE. ACCORDING TO
HIM, THE LINK TO IRAQ WAS CRITICAL IN THE EU'S DECISION TO
SUPPORT THE PROJECT BECAUSE IT WILL PROVIDE ENOUGH POTENTIAL
VOLUME TO MAKE THE INVESTMENT WORTHWHILE. SIGMUND SAID THAT
ALTHOUGH NO FIRM COMMITMENT HAD BEEN MADE YET, THE COMMISSION
HAD AGREED IN PRINCIPLE TO HELP PUSH THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT
BANK (EIB) TO SECURE THE FINANCING NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE
PROJECT. BOTH SOURCES SAID THAT THE EU WOULD BE MEETING THE
RELEVANT MINISTERS IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 2008 TO WORK OUT
THE REMAINING DETAILS OF EU COLLABORATION.

TURKEY BLOCKING CONNECTION TO EU MARKET


--------------------------




7. (C) ACCORDING TO BENSARA, TURKEY IS THE ONLY REMAINING
OBSTACLE TO CONNECTING THE ARAB GAS PIPELINE TO THE EU
MARKET. ACCORDING TO HIM, TURKEY CONTINUES TO USE ITS
STRATEGIC POSITION TO BLOCK THE FREE TRANSIT OF HYDROCARBONS
BY INSISTING ON BUYING AND SELLING INSTEAD OF ACTING AS A
FULL TRANSIT COUNTRY.
MURRAY
.