A potential undersea pipeline carrying natural gas from deposits in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe is "very realistic" and could help secure the continent's energy future, Israel's energy minister said Tuesday.
Yuval Steinitz said that a study on the "strategic" EastMed Pipeline Project shows that the pipeline is feasible, even though it presents technical challenges due to the depths involved, ABCNews reports.
He said the estimated 6.2 billion-euro ($7.36 billion) pipeline could take 6-7 years to build and that the countries involved in the project "are serious about it, it will happen."
The Israeli official said an undersea pipeline would be less vulnerable to sabotage and won't have to cross many national boarders to reach markets, making it a safer investment.
"This is one of the best projects," Steinitz told The Associated Press ahead of the signing of an agreement between Cyprus, Israel, Greece and Italy affirming their commitment to moving ahead with the project.
Steinitz said significant deposits already discovered in the east Mediterranean, including Israel's Leviathan field are "just the tip of the iceberg" and that "it's very likely" that more gas will be found in Cypriot waters