EU official: Europe could import gas from East Mediterranean

The EU's energy chief says Europe could import gas from newly found deposits in the eastern Mediterranean as the continent seeks to diversify its supplies and bolster its energy security while keeping prices down.

Maros Sefcovic said Tuesday that initial estimates on gas quantities in eastern Mediterranean waters are "very promising" and there is clearly potential for export.

He said one field, the recently discovered Zohr deposit off Egypt, is estimated to hold enough gas to meet Europe's annual energy needs of 400-500 billion cubic meters (14-17.6 trillion cubic feet) for eight years.

The EU official said gas could reach Europe once the energy needs of countries in the region are met.

Sefcovic said the EU sees the Mediterranean as a "gateway" of potential gas supply routes to Europe.