In the field of energy, the EU has also seen major developments in the past days, although they went largely unnoticed amid the migration crisis. A consortium of European energy giants teamed with the Russian Gazprom to add two new pipelines to the existing two on Nord Stream – a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. Russia is actively seeking to limit the amount of gas going to Europe through Ukraine. And although the EU takes Ukraine´s side in its dealings with Russia, it has not stopped the energy firms from signing a deal with the Russian giant for Nord Stream-2. The new pipelines would double the capacity of this supply route. If it goes through, it should begin operation in 2019.
On the other side of the EU, in the South, there has also been a big development. ENI, the Italian energy giant, has announced the discovery of some of the world´s largest gas reserves just off Egypt´s shore. ENI holds the concession for Egyptian gas exploration projects. It stated that the new gas field could contain some 30 trillion cubic feet, comparable to Iranian and Russian gas reserves – the largest in the world. This discovery, once commercialized, could mean Egyptian gas needs would be covered for decades, with excess capacity available for export in the form of LNG (ENI has an LNG plant in Egypt, too) to Europe – which actively seeks to develop alternative gas suppliers in its Southern neighborhood. The discovery is, however, ill news for Israel. Israel hoped for its Leviathan gas field to supply Egypt and Europe, too.
19th June 2018