Turkey Steps Up Fight For Gas in Eastern Mediterranean

By Nick Cunningham,OILPRICE – May 08, 2019, 4:00 PM CDTJoin Our Community

Turkey said that it plans on drilling for natural gas in Cypriot waters, raising tension in the region and drawing rebukes from the European Union and the United States.

The Eastern Mediterranean has emerged as a major source of natural gas in recent years, with multiple discoveries announced in several countries over the past decade. The first few discoveries came in Israeli waters in 2009 and 2010 – the Tamar and Leviathan fields. In 2011, the Aphrodite gas field was discovered in Cypriot waters. Noble Energy, a Houston-based company, was the main company in all three of those discoveries.
Italian oil giant Eni took things to a new level with its Zohr discovery in 2015, which was roughly twice as large as the Leviathan field. Eni fast-tracked development and brought it online at the end of 2017. A series of other smaller discoveries have also been reported in the region over the years.

The flow of gas has led to all sorts of hype and dreams. Egypt wants to become a regional and global gas player, involved in the production transport and export of natural gas. Security analysts have hoped that gas would bind the restive Middle East together, with pipelines intertwining Israel, Jordan and Egypt. The growing economic and trade relationship, and the regional interconnections, would tamp down conflict, the thinking went