The regional energy markets have not been seriously disturbed so far by the developments in the Middle East said Geoffrey Pyatt, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, at the 7th SEF Energy Forum (SEEF 2023), organised in Thessaloniki by the Hellenic-American Chamber and the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics in collaboration with the US Embassy in Greece and in strategic collaboration with the Atlantic Council and the Energy Institute of the US Chamber of Commerce.
Asked whether Europe is better prepared this winter for the fallout from the war in Ukraine, Pyatt said that Europe is in a much better position and noted that Putin’s failure to turn energy into a weapon last winter was also due in part to the work done by US natural gas and LNG producers.
“About 70% of our production last year went to Europe. But an equally important role was played by countries such as Greece, which have invested in additional regasification capacity,” he emphasised, underlining the crucial role of the expansion of the Revythoussa terminal in this direction.
Regarding energy security in relation to the developments in Ukraine, Pyatt referred again to Greece’s leading role in the effort to mitigate their repercussions, with critical infrastructure and the role of the Southern Corridor.
He noted that the most obvious example was, of course, the Southern Corridor, which has played an absolutely critical role in helping Europe overcome Putin’s attempt to weaponise his country’s natural resources after February 2022, underscoring the flexibility provided by this very large infrastructure project to the security and diversification of the EU’s energy supply.
Moreover, he said that Greece has managed to redraw the energy map in Southeast Europe and because energy has been prominent in Putin’s strategy for Ukraine, Greece’s resources have played a critical role.
The next steps in Greek-US energy cooperation
Speaking about the next steps in energy cooperation between the US and Greece, Pyatt underlined: “We look forward to the continuation of the strong partnership with Greece on these issues.”
He also said the completion of the FSRU in Alexandroupolis was extremely important, as well as the role played by Greece in accelerating the energy transition in the Western Balkans. Specifically regarding the latter, he pointed out the importance of completing projects such as the Greece-North Macedonia pipeline and continuing cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia for the development of cleaner and more sustainable energy systems, which will escape from the bad influence exerted by Russia.
In addition, he reiterated the US’s commitment to the 3+1 Initiative of Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United States and the extremely important cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean.