ANKARA, July 17 (Reuters) - Israel is close to an agreement with Russia that would secure natural gas for a planned pipeline project between Turkey and Israel, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said on Thursday.
The project consists of five pipelines that would carry water, natural gas, oil, electricity and fibre optics from Turkey’s Mediterranean coast to Israel.
“We are very close to reaching an agreement with Russia that would supply the pipeline with natural gas,” Ben-Eliezer said after meetings with Turkish energy officials over technical details of the pipeline project.
Feasibility studies on an accompanying oil pipeline will be done in 10 months, said Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, adding that the pipeline could carry at least 40 million tonnes of oil annually.
The oil pipeline is also seen as an important step to reducing the time it takes to transport crude oil to eastern Asia. Azerbaijan has said it is interested in using the pipeline to ship its oil to eastern markets, Ben-Eliezer said. (Reporting by Orhan Coskun, editing by Anthony Barker)
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