Pipelines and Pipedreams: How the EU can support a regional gas hub in the Eastern Mediterranean


Tareq Baconi, Visiting Fellow, ECFR

Dr Michael Denison, Group Political Adviser, BP

Richard Bass, Director Energy Practice, Navigant

Chaired by

Christopher Johnson, Energy Community Editor, Thomson Reuters

The new ECFR publication 'Pipelines and Pipedreams: How the EU can support a regional gas hub in the Eastern Mediterranean' by ECFR visiting fellow Tareq Baconi discusses the near-to mid-term prospects for tapping the gas reserves of the Levantine Deep Marine Basin, thus advancing Europe’s objectives for energy security and enhanced regional cooperation. The report highlights continued commercial and political hurdles to exporting gas drawn from the waters of Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt, and examines options for potential cooperation among the key regional countries on a joint export approach. The report also offers policy recommendations for European engagement to support regional gas development. 

Tareq Baconi is a visiting fellow with ECFR’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. Tareq has worked in the energy sector for eight years, most recently as a Managing Consultant in Navigant’s energy practice in London. His experience has predominantly focused on the oil and gas sectors in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Alongside his advisory work, Tareq has pursued research projects relating to the contemporary geopolitics of the region, particularly Israel-Palestine and Islamic movements.

Dr Michael Denison is Group Political Adviser at BP plc. Between 2009 and 2013 he was Research Director at Control Risks, an internal business risk consultancy. He has previously worked as a Special Adviser to the UK Foreign Secretary, and taught at the University of St Andrews and University of Leeds. He was an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and George Washington University (2005-13).

Richard Bass is a Director in Navigant’s Energy Practice. His experience has covered oil, gas, power, unconventional and renewable resources. Richard was the Project Leader for Jordan’s LNG Import Project. He also assisted the Office of the Quartet with a feasibility study for a gas pipeline from Israel to the Palestinian Territory. In addition, Richard has supported the development of natural gas infrastructure in Ghana, Jordan, Kuwait, Cyprus, Yemen, Poland and the UAE.

Christopher Johnson is Energy Community Editor at Thomson Reuters and runs Reuters Global Oil Forum, an online chatroom on the politics and economics of oil and energy markets. He has been a journalist, correspondent, bureau chief and editor at Reuters for more than 25 years, working in over 30 countries, and spent more than a decade as a specialist in Asian politics and economics. Before joining Reuters he was a reporter and then editor and regional manager at Argus, and for three years was an oil broker in London.