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Old 20-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Israel’s Levant Basin—a new geopolitical curse? Part 1

This could be the reason for the "interest" in Syria/Greece by many. As it affects many countries I have started this new thread. I am sure that many of the readers, who are in the industry, may have more "up to date" information than a discredited web site like Voltaire.

Israel



"The Tamar natural gas field off the coast of northern Israel is expected to begin yielding gas for Israel’s use in late 2012.
Recent discoveries of not just significant, but huge oil and gas reserves in the little-explored Mediterranean Sea between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Syria and Lebanon suggest that the region could become literally a “new Persian Gulf” in terms of oil and gas riches. As with the old Persian Gulf, discovery of hydrocarbon riches could as well spell a geopolitical curse of staggering dimension.

Long-standing Middle East conflicts could soon be paled by new battles over rights to oil and gas resources beneath the eastern Mediterranean in the Levant Basin and Aegean Sea. Here we explore the implications of a gigantic discovery of gas and oil in offshore Israel. In a second article we will explore the implications of gas and oil discoveries in the Aegean between Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon.

An Israeli Leviathan

The game-changer was a dramatic discovery in late 2010 of an enormous natural gas field offshore of Israel in what geologists call the Levant or Levantine Basin. In October 2010 Israel discovered a massive “super-giant” gas field offshore in what it declares is its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The find is some 84 miles west of the Haifa port and three miles deep. They named it Leviathan after the Biblical sea monster. Three Israeli energy companies in cooperation with the Houston Texas Noble Energy announced initial estimates that the field contained 16 trillion cubic feet of gas—making it the world’s biggest deep-water gas find in a decade, adding more discredit to “peak oil” theories that the planet is about to see dramatic and permanent shortages of oil, gas and coal. To put the number in perspective, that one gas field, Leviathan, would hold enough reserves to supply Israel’s gas needs for 100 years. [1]

Energy self-sufficiency had eluded the state of Israel since its founding in 1948. Abundant oil and gas exploration had repeatedly been undertaken with meager result. Unlike its energy-rich Arab neighbors, Israel seemed out of luck. Then in 2009 Israel’s exploration partner, Noble Energy, discovered the Tamar field in the Levantine Basin some 50 miles west of Israel’s port of Haifa with an estimated 8.3 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of highest quality natural gas. Tamar was the world’s largest gas discovery in 2009.

At the time, total Israeli gas reserves were estimated at only 1.5 tcf. Government estimates were that Israel’s sole operating field, Yam Tethys, which supplies about 70 percent of the country’s natural gas, would be depleted within three years.

With Tamar, prospects began to look considerably better. Then, just a year after Tamar, the same consortium led by Noble Energy struck the largest gas find in its decades-long history at Leviathan in the same Levantine geological basin. Present estimates are that the Leviathan field holds at least 17 tcf of gas. [2] Israel went from a gas famine to feast in a matter of months.

With the Tamar and now Leviathan discoveries, Israel was beginning to discuss how to become a major natural gas export nation as well as whether to significantly tax gas and oil revenues and place it into an Israeli Sovereign Wealth Fund that would make long-term investments in the Israeli economy as China and many Arab OPEC nations do. [3]



“The Levant Basin Province is comparable to some of the other large provinces around the world,” noted a spokesperson from the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Resources Program. “Its gas resources are bigger than anything we have assessed in the United States.” [4]

Perhaps sensing that major oil and gas discoveries were being confirmed with potential to change the geopolitics of the entire region, the USGS launched its first-ever estimate of the total reserves of oil and gas in the broad region encompassing the Eastern Mediterranean including the Aegean Basin offshore Greece and Turkey and Cyprus, the Levant Basin offshore Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and the Nile Basin offshore Egypt. Their conclusion was impressive to put it mildly.

The USGS, using all data from previous drilling and geologic surveys of the region concluded, “undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Levant Basin Province amount to 1.68 billion barrels of oil, and 122 tcf of gas. Additionally, according to USGS estimates, “undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Nile Delta Basin Province (bounded by the Nile Cone to the west, by Strabo to the north, by the Pytheus and Cyprus Trenches to the east and by the Levant Basin to the south) are estimated to be approximately 1.76 bbl (of oil), and 223 tcf of natural gas.” [5]

The USGS calculated the total for the eastern Mediterranean as a whole currently at 345 tcf of gas and 3.4 billion barrels of oil. Suddenly the entire region is facing completely new geopolitical challenges and conflict potentials.

To put the numbers into perspective, the USGS estimates that Russia’s West Siberian Basin, the world’s largest known gas basin, holds 643 tcf of gas. As well, the Middle East and North Africa regions have several natural gas-rich areas, including the Rub Al Khali Basin (426 trillion cubic feet) in southwestern Saudi Arabia and Northern Yemen; the Greater Ghawar Uplift in eastern Saudi Arabia (227 tcf) and the Zagros Fold Belt (212 tcf) along the Persian Gulf and into Iraq and Iran. [6]

Just months earlier, securing foreign gas was a national security priority of Israel as existing domestic gas supplies dwindled dangerously low. Further adding to the energy crisis were the so-called Arab Spring protests sweeping across Egypt into Libya in early 2011. The revolts toppled Mubarak, under whose regime Egypt had supplied some 40% of Israeli natural gas. With Mubarak toppled and the ban lifted on Egypt’s Islamic parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Salafist Al-Nour Party, the gas pipeline delivering Egypt’s gas to Israel was target of repeated sabotage and disruptions, the most recent February of this year in northern Sinai. Israel was becoming more than nervous about its future energy security. [7]

Lebanon reaction fuels new frictions

Discovery of Leviathan by Israel in the waters offshore immediately triggered a new geopolitical conflict as Lebanon claimed that part of the gas field lay in Lebanese territorial waters in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Lebanon delivered maps to the UN to back its claim, to which Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman retorted, “We won’t give an inch.”

The fly in the Mediterranean energy soup is the fact that Israel, like the USA, has never ratified the 1982 UN Convention on Law of the Sea dividing world subsea mineral rights. The Israeli gas wells at Leviathan are clearly within undisputed Israeli territory as Lebanon affirms, but Lebanon believes the field extends over into their subsea waters as well. The Lebanese Hezbollah claims that the Tamar gas field, which is due to begin gas deliveries by the end of this year, belongs to Lebanon.

Washington has lost no time adding political gasoline to the natural gas dispute between Lebanon and Israel. In July of 2011 as Israel prepared to submit its own proposal to the UN as to where the offshore demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel should run, Frederick Hof, US diplomat responsible for special affairs regarding Syria and Lebanon, told Lebanon that the Obama Administration endorsed the Lebanese document, adding to the growing tensions reported since outbreak of the Arab Spring between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama. [8]


Sheldon Adelson donates millions to support Republican candidates.
Netanyahu has reportedly recently urged America’s eighth wealthiest person, his close friend Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson to pour millions directly into the campaigns of Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It represents an unprecedented direct Israeli intervention into US presidential candidates’ campaigns, in order to try to defeat a second Obama term. [9] New issues of control of the vast energy reserves being discovered off Israeli and Lebanese, Cypriot, Turkish and Greek shores will clearly play a growing role in one of the most entangled political regions on Earth.

In our next piece the added complication of oil and gas discoveries in the Aegean Sea will be examined."


You will all note the "extents" of the field neatly stop at what is globally agreed as the local countries borders. As reported in the piece Israel does not recognise the formulae for defining "boundaries", both on the land and it seems in the sea.

By the Aegean Sea, read within Greece's borders, maybe they are not as broke as it seems. I wonder who has the geological data on these "discoveries". Is this what the Russian/Iranian ships have been sent to Syria for. Maybe they will assist in "protecting" Lebanon's ans Syria's offshore assets?
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Last edited by OhOh : 20-02-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 20-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bit of a bitch for Lebanon, that line being there, eh?
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Old 21-02-2012, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Gas Jews conflict seems deja vue Al Qaeda Uk and US Aryans versus China Syria Russia and Persian Arayans perhasp donate territory from Kosovo Kurdistan Kirkuk Kandahar to K2 kashmir to a nature reserve call it Jew Racist Park
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Old 21-02-2012, 12:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david44 View Post
Gas Jews conflict seems deja vue Al Qaeda Uk and US Aryans versus China Syria Russia and Persian Arayans perhasp donate territory from Kosovo Kurdistan Kirkuk Kandahar to K2 kashmir to a nature reserve call it Jew Racist Park
What are you smoking? I want some.
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Old 21-02-2012, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the Iranians are masters at horizontal drilling. They did come to an agreement with Qatar, I believe, over a gas field which straddled their joint territorial claims. So it can be done.
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Old 21-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
I think the Iranians are masters at horizontal drilling. They did come to an agreement with Qatar, I believe, over a gas field which straddled their joint territorial claims. So it can be done.
I don't think there was any argument. But you can bet your arse they are both pumping it as quick as they can.

Qatar call it the North Dome, Iran calls it South Pars.



Going back to the OP, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots were bitching about it last year, some there could well be something down there.

Quote:
Turkey rattles sabres over Cypriot natural gas drilling

Michael Theodoulou
Sep 19, 2011

Prospects of an underwater natural gas bonanza in the eastern Mediterranean have sparked a fresh row between Turkey and the divided island of Cyprus that is also embroiling Greece and Israel.

The Turkish prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, warned last week that he was ready to send warships to the area, both to escort Turkish aid convoys to the Gaza Strip and to monitor Cypriot and Israeli energy projects.

How far Turkey is prepared to escalate tensions will become clearer in coming days.

A Texas-based company, Noble Energy, is due to launch exploratory drilling south of Cyprus soon on behalf of the Greek Cypriots, who represent the island internationally and in the European Union.

Asked about those plans, Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU minister, warned this month: "It is for this [reason] that countries have warships. It is for this that we have equipment and train our navies."

In the past, Turkey has proved ready to back its positions in maritime disputes with military muscle.

Ankara came to the brink of war with Greece, a Nato ally, in 1987, over a similar drilling rights dispute in the Aegean Sea.

But it is doubtful that Turkey will do more than rattle its sabres in this stand-off, analysts say.

"It seems very unlikely that Turkey would directly defy a US company," said Hugh Pope, the Ankara-based Turkey-Cyprus project director at the International Crisis Group.

Turkey demands that the Greek Cypriots postpone offshore drilling until there is a solution to the decades-old Cyprus problem.

Otherwise, Ankara argues, the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, which is recognised only by Turkey, will lose out on a share of the island's gas riches.

The Cypriot president, Demetris Christofias, insists the smaller and less affluent Turkish Cypriot community can share the potential hydrocarbon bounty once there is a deal to reunify the island. He has accused Turkey of being a regional "troublemaker".

The energy row coincides with a major drive by the United Nations to reunite Cyprus by the middle of next year when the island assumes the rotating EU presidency.

The former British colony was split by a Turkish invasion in 1974 that was triggered by a brief coup in Nicosia engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece.

The Cypriot government said this week it would keep Turkey's faltering EU accession talks on hold for as long as Ankara challenges its right to exploit energy resources.

Turkey, disillusioned with the EU after receiving the cold shoulder for years, declared yesterday that it would freeze relations with the European club if a still-divided Cyprus is given the EU presidency in July.

If so, "the real crisis will be between Turkey and the EU", warned Turkey's deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay.

The Aphrodite field - more prosaically known as Block 12 - where Noble is about to drill could hold some 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Cypriot officials say.

It is more than enough to meet Cyprus's domestic needs, leaving a healthy surplus for the lucrative export market.

Block 12 is a mere 50 kilometres from Israel's Leviathian gasfield, where Noble has confirmed gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet.

Cyprus sees itself playing a key role in a new regional energy equation involving Israel, Greece, and, in the event of a Cyprus settlement, Turkey.

Ankara in recent days has indicated one way it might respond if the Greek Cypriots proceed with drilling.

It warned it would sign a pact with the Turkish Cypriot state for hydrocarbon exploration in waters between Turkey and northern Cyprus.

"This threat was mostly a symbolic way for Turkey to hit back at the Greek Cypriots without directly challenging the US," said Hubert Faustmann, a political analyst at the University of Nicosia.

"Drilling in waters where there may be no oil or gas could be a very expensive way to make a point." Confidential US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks revealed that Turkey tried unsuccessfully in 2007 to dissuade Noble from co-operating with the Greek Cypriots.

The US company was warned that it "could never expect to do business with Turkey" if it proceeded.

The EU this week called on Turkey to refrain "from any kind of threats" against Cyprus, while the US embassy in Nicosia has given Noble the nod to proceed.

Greece has vowed to defend the Greek Cypriots.

James Ker-Lindsay, an expert on the eastern Mediterranean at the London School of Economics, said: "Washington, Britain and the EU have been quite clear on this.

"Cyprus is perfectly within its legitimate, sovereign rights to engage in this [energy exploration] activity."

The Cypriot and Israeli gasfields are part of a geological area called the Levant Basin, which lies off the coasts of Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, Gaza and Egypt.

The US Geological Survey estimates the basin could hold 122 trillion cubic feet of extractable gas.

That makes it one of the world's richest deposits - in one of the world's most fractious areas.

The prospect of such staggering mineral wealth is stoking old conflicts and shaping new alliances.

Israel and Lebanon are feuding over a maritime border and have exchanged hawkish warnings over protecting their resources.

Apparently championing Lebanon's case, Mr Erdogan said last week that his country will not allow Israel exclusive use of resources in the Mediterranean.

Israel, meanwhile, is looking for new regional allies following the decline in its once solid relations with Ankara - relations soured after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists on a Gaza aid ship last year.

Tel Aviv has reached out to the Greek Cypriots and Greece, which have historically good relations with the Arab world.

The Israeli energy company Delek, which is working closely with Noble, has proposed a partnership with Cyprus to build a facility on the island for processing and exporting to Europe natural gas found in Israeli and Cypriot waters.

Washington, meanwhile, is struggling to patch up relations between Israel and Turkey.

mtheodoulou@thenational.ae
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Old 21-02-2012, 08:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I can't paste the image here, but take a look at this survey document:

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3014/pdf/FS10-3014.pdf

It might well explain why Israel doesn't want a Palestinian state.

According to that map, there's a fair chunk of Gas that might well belong to the Gaza strip.....
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Old 21-02-2012, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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^ Nothing in that map pointed to much claim by Gaza strip.
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Old 21-02-2012, 11:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlins View Post
^ Nothing in that map pointed to much claim by Gaza strip.

If you also add in the Egyptian offshore prospects the whole of the Eastern Med is an area of potential.

As Palestine/Lebanon/Syria/Turkey/Cyprus/Greece all have maritime boundaries there are certainly ramifications for all to settle any boundary dispute It certainly beats drilling deep water/Ice covered "potential", as is being done elsewhere in the world.
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Old 21-02-2012, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Athabascar is going to be the new World capital.
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Old 22-02-2012, 12:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^Of polluted water and environment you are right.
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Old 22-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlins View Post
^ Nothing in that map pointed to much claim by Gaza strip.
Yeeeeesssssssssssss. And that would be why I said:

"It might well explain why Israel doesn't want a Palestinian state."

Do I have to go into detail? Or is there an even bigger Obvious that you want to State?

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Old 22-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david44 View Post
Gas Jews conflict seems deja vue Al Qaeda Uk and US Aryans versus China Syria Russia and Persian Arayans perhasp donate territory from Kosovo Kurdistan Kirkuk Kandahar to K2 kashmir to a nature reserve call it Jew Racist Park
With a few adjustments that could be converted to iambic pentameter.
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Old 22-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by david44 View Post
Gas Jews conflict seems deja vue Al Qaeda Uk and US Aryans versus China Syria Russia and Persian Arayans perhasp donate territory from Kosovo Kurdistan Kirkuk Kandahar to K2 kashmir to a nature reserve call it Jew Racist Park
With a few adjustments that could be converted to iambic pentameter.
I was thinking more along the lines of "Rap". Put a "dum-dum-*ching*.... dum-dum-*ching*...." rhythm over the top of it and all that.

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Rising energy tensions in the Aegean

"The discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel’s Mediterranean shores triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. The results revealed that the entire eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves. That discovery is having enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It well may have potential military consequences too.

Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially, Syria.

Greek ‘energy Sirtaki’

Not surprisingly, amid its disastrous financial crisis the Greek government began serious exploration for oil and gas. Since then the country has been in a curious kind of a dance with the IMF and EU governments, a kind of “energy Sirtaki” over who will control and ultimately benefit from the huge resource discoveries there.

In December 2010, as it seemed the Greek crisis might still be resolved without the by-now huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece’s Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea. [1]

The southern Aegean Sea and Cretan Sea are yet to be explored, so the numbers could be significantly higher. An earlier Greek National Council for Energy Policy report stated that “Greece is one of the least explored countries in Europe regarding hydrocarbon (oil and gas-w.e.) potentials.” [2] According to one Greek analyst, Aristotle Vassilakis, “surveys already done that have measured the amount of natural gas estimate it to reach some nine trillion dollars.” [3] Even if only a fraction of that is available, it would transform the finances of Greece and the entire region.

Tulane University oil expert David Hynes told an audience in Athens recently that Greece could potentially solve its entire public debt crisis through development of its new-found gas and oil. He conservatively estimates that exploitation of the reserves already discovered could bring the country more than €302 billion over 25 years. The Greek government instead has just been forced to agree to huge government layoffs, wage cuts and pension cuts to get access to a second EU and IMF loan that will only drive the country deeper into an economic decline. [4]

Notably, the IMF and EU governments, among them Germany, demand instead that Greece sell off its valuable ports and public companies, among them of course, Greek state oil companies, to reduce state debt. Under the best of conditions the asset selloffs would bring the country perhaps €50 billion. [5] Plans call for the Greek state-owned natural gas company, DEPA, to privatize 65% of its shares to reduce debt. [6] Buyers would likely come from outside the country, as few Greek companies are in a position in the crisis to take it.



One significant problem, aside from the fact the IMF demands Greece selloff its public oil interests, is the fact that Greece has not declared a deeper exclusive economic zone like most other countries which drill for oil. There was seen little need until now. An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) gives a state special mineral rights in its declared waters under the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into force in November 1994. Under UNCLOS III, a nation can claim an EEZ of 200 nautical miles from its coastline. [7]

Turkey has previously stated it would consider it an act of war if Greece drilled further into the Aegean. [8] Until now that did not seem to have serious economic consequences, as no oil or gas reserves were known. Now it’s an entirely different ballgame.

Evangelos Kouloumbis, former Greek Industry Minister recently stated that Greece could cover “50% of its needs with the oil to be found in offshore fields in the Aegean Sea, and the only obstacle to that is the Turkish opposition for an eventual Greek exploitation.” [9]

Hillary dances the Sirtaki too…

In July 2011 Washington joined the Greek energy Sirtaki. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Athens with energy on her mind. That was clear by the fact she brought with her her Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Richard Morningstar. Morningstar was husband Bill Clinton’s Special Advisor to the President on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy, and one of the Washington strategic operatives in the geopolitical battles to dismember the Soviet Union and surround a chaos-ridden Russia with hostile pro-NATO former states of the USSR. Morningstar, along with his controversial aide, Matthew Bryza, have been the key Washington architects of Washington’s geopolitically-motivated oil and gas pipeline projects that would isolate Russia and its Gazprom gas resources from the EU. Bryza is an open opponent of Russian Gazprom’s South Stream gas pipeline that would transit the eastern Mediterranean states. [10] Clearly the Obama Administration is not at all neutral about the new Greek oil and gas discoveries. Three days after Hillary left Athens the Greek government proposed creation of a new government agency to run tenders for oil and gas surveys and ultimate drilling bids.



Morningstar is the US specialist in economic warfare against Russian energy diplomacy. He was instrumental in backing the controversial B-T-C oil pipeline from Baku through Tbilisi in Georgia across to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, a costly enterprise designed solely to bypass Russian oil pipeline transit. He has openly proposed that Greece and Turkey drop all historic differences over Cyprus, over numerous other historic issues and agree to jointly pool all their oil and gas reserves in the Aegean Sea. He also has told the Greek government it should forget cooperation with Moscow on the South Stream and Bourgas-Alexandroupolis gas pipeline projects. [11]

According to a report from Greek political analyst Aristotle Vassilakis published in July 2011, Washington’s motive for pushing Greece to join forces with Turkey on oil and gas is to force a formula to divide resulting oil and gas revenues. According to his report, Washington proposes that Greece get 20% of revenues, Turkey another 20% and the US-backed Noble Energy Company of Houston Texas, the company successfully drilling in the Israeli and Greek offshore waters, would get the lion’s share of 60%. [12]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill, is a Washington lobbyist for Noble Energy. [13]

And some Cyprus complications…

As if these geopolitical complications were not enough, Noble Energy, has also discovered huge volumes of gas off the waters of the Republic of Cyprus. In December 2011 Noble announced a successful well offshore Cyprus in a field estimated to hold at least 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Noble’s CEO, Charles Davidson remarked to the press, “This latest discovery in Cyprus further highlights the quality and significance of this world-class basin.” [14]

Cyprus is a complicated piece of real estate. In the 1970’s as declassified US Government documents recently revealed, then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger actively encouraged and facilitated arms to the Turkish regime of Kissinger’s former Harvard student and then- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, to stage a military invasion of Cyprus in 1974, in effect partitioning the island between an ethnically Turkish north and an ethnically Greek Republic of Cyprus in the south, a division which remains. The Kissinger strategy, backed by the British was believed intended to create a pretext for a permanent US and British military listening post in the eastern Mediterranean during the Cold War. [15]

Today the ethnically Greek south, where Noble has discovered large gas deposits, is a member of the EU. Its President, Demetris Christofias, is the only national leader in the European Union who is a communist. He is also a close friend of Israel, and of Russia. In addition, he is a major critic of American foreign policy, as well as of Turkey. [16]

Now Israel is planning to build an underwater gas pipeline from the Israeli Levantine fields across Cyprus waters onto the Greek mainland where it would be sold on the EU market. The Cyprus and Israel governments have mutually agreed on delimitation of their respective economic zones, leaving Turkey in the cold. Turkey openly threatened Cyprus for signing the agreement with Noble Energy. That led to a Russian statement that it would not tolerate Turkish threats against Cyprus, further complicating Turkish-Russian relations. [17]

Turkish-Israeli relations, once quite friendly, have become increasingly strained in recent years under the Erdogan foreign policies. Ankara has expressed concern about Israel’s recent ties with its historic antagonists, Greece and the Greek side of Cyprus. Turkey’s ally the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, fears it could miss out on its fair share of the gas after Israel and Nicosia signed an agreement to divide the 250 kilometers of sea that separate them. [18]

It becomes evident, especially when we glance at a map of the eastern Mediterranean, that the oil and gas prospective bonanza there is a rapidly unfolding conflict zone of tectonic magnitude involving strategic US, Russian, EU, Israeli and Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese interests."
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