MEDREG calls for integrated, competitive Mediterranean gas market

EPA/DOMENECH CASTELLÓ/FILE PICTURE

Construction of an offshore natural gas storage site in Spain.

One of the priorities of the Maltese EU Presidency will be to draw attention on the region


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The implementation of a stable regulatory framework is a prerequisite to attract investors and ensure energy security of supply, Turkish energy regulator (EMRA) Vice President and MEDREG representative Mehmet Erturk told a seminar in the European Parliament in Brussels on March 8.

He mentioned MEDREG report mapping out current and projected gas and electricity infrastructures in the Mediterranean basin, identifying the main barriers for investments and drawing a set of recommendations to overcome them. A survey submitted to Mediterranean regulators has revealed that the lack of clear institutional framework and regulatory obstacles constitute some of the biggest barriers to investments, Erturk said.

“Regulatory framework is the most important issue for the investors. The two surveys conducted by ENTSOG and MEDREG showed that stable, predictable and harmonized regulations in the Mediterranean region is a key factor for the transformation of the Mediterranean gas market, and the objective of MEDREG is to foster the setting-up of such a regulatory framework in the region,” Erturk said.

Held under the auspices of the Maltese EU Presidency, the event aimed at addressing the role of gas in the Mediterranean as a catalyst for better neighbourhood relations, socioeconomic progress and sustainable development. The seminar’s objective was to discuss both gas supply and route diversification, and to highlight other positive developments that gas can bring to the region, for EU Member States as well as non-EU countries.

Daniel Azzopardi, representing the Maltese government currently holding the EU Presidency, indicated that one of their priorities would be to draw attention on the Mediterranean. The Maltese Presidency will raise awareness of the UfM energy platforms and will ask to speed-up progress on their activities at the next EU informal Energy Minister meeting, which will take place on May 18-19 in Malta.

Panelists indicated that Russian gas would remain necessary for European consumption. However, the integration of gas from Mediterranean countries in the European energy market would allow a diversification of routes, suppliers, and sources.

The discovery of gas in the East part of the Mediterranean, qualified of “the new Norway”, is expected to encourage regional cooperation, according to the panel. It also represents an opportunity for Egypt, which is already equipped with export facilities and infrastructures, underlined the speakers.

 

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