Cyprus and Israel are in the process of finalizing a deal to construct a pipeline that will transport natural gas from both countries to Cyprus, where it will be liquefied and exported to Europe and potentially other destinations, according to the Cypriot energy minister on Monday. Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou announced plans for an upcoming visit to Israel to negotiate and formalize the agreement. Once signed, the construction of the pipeline is expected to be completed within 18 months. Additionally, the establishment of a liquefaction plant on Cyprus will require approximately 2 ½ years after securing investors. Significant gas reserves have been discovered thus far, with Cyprus having identified five sizable gas deposits off its southern coastline. Meanwhile, Israel boasts 11 such fields, with the largest, named Leviathan, estimated to contain approximately 22 trillion cubic feet (623 billion cubic meters) of gas. Papanastasiou further expressed his intention to meet with energy companies, including French Total, Italy’s Eni, ExxonMobil, and Chevron, who hold licenses to explore for oil and gas within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. The objective of the meeting is to explore collaborative avenues that would facilitate the expedited delivery of their gas discoveries to the market.