The outspoken boss of a major upstream player in the East Mediterranean has hit out at what he says is the myopia of European politicians for neglecting the potential of indigenous gas resources at a time when falling Russian gas imports could trigger a resurgence in demand for coal.

Mathios Rigas, chief executive of Energean, which has a significant gas portfolio offshore Israel, Egypt and Italy, told Upstream that Europe will continue to need gas for many years as it transitions to renewables, so it should be encouraging investment in domestic gas exploration and production rather than being at the mercy of imports, even from the US.