U.S. Wants to Help Europe Achieve Energy Security, Envoy Says

The U.S. wants to help Europe in its quest for energy security and diversifying its supply, a U.S. State Department official said.

“The U.S. has an interest in an economically strong Europe,” Richard Morningstar, U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy issues, said at a conference in Athens today. “Energy security is a major factor for the economy of any country.”

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama “strongly supports” the “southern corridor” pipeline project to bring Caspian gas to Europe via Turkey, he said. “Our aim is to encourage a balanced and diverse energy strategy with multiple energy sources.”

While the U.S. has repeatedly said it recognizes Cyprus’s right to drill in its offshore zones, and supports bids by U.S. companies to work in the region, any future revenue from oil and natural gas in Cyprus should be shared equally between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, he added.

“The discovery of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean is a good thing as it created diversification for Europe and will help countries in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of their own domestic needs,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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