Monday, September 30, 2019

"Cyprus and Turkey: the battle for oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean"

I bet if one were to turn over some rocks on Cyprus one could find signs of American politicians mucking about.
From Offshore Technology, September 30:
The rush for oil and gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean is heating up, and nowhere more so than in Cyprus where the government and the UN have condemned as illegal and provocative Turkey’s decision to deploy vessels in Cypriot waters. Julian Turner reports on the ongoing controversy.

Perhaps more than any other body of water on Earth, the Mediterranean Sea has helped shape the evolution of human civilisation. For centuries, great empires and cultures have coveted and fought for control of this civilisational crossroads linking Western Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe.
Today, the Med remains a critical geopolitical chokepoint for trade, transport and natural resources, notably oil and gas. In December, Egypt and Cyprus announced the construction of a major pipeline connecting the Aphrodite gasfield in offshore Cyprus to Egypt’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.

This was followed in January by the formation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, a platform comprising Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy and the Palestinian Authority, aimed at developing a regional natural gas market that again leverages existing LNG infrastructure in Egypt.
Then, in February, US multinational ExxonMobil announced a new gas discovery in offshore Cyprus. The Glaucus-1 well in Block 10 – in which ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (Offshore) together hold a 60% interest – more than doubles Cyprus’s estimated offshore resources.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean, however, international cooperation is in short supply, and the battle between Cyprus and Turkey for key resources is being fought along familiar political lines.

Partition in Cyprus: reunification and drilling rights
Almost exactly 45 years ago, on 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus in order to crush a military coup backed by Greece. In defiance of international opinion, Ankara continues to lay claim to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a de facto state situated in the north-eastern portion of the island....