INTERPRETATION
OF EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN GAS RESOURCES AND ENERGY SAFETY

Today, with the
increase in the world population, people and countries are increasingly
consuming and increasing production and product troubles. Such is the gas
reserves which are the largest and most important sources of political
strategies and causes of war between the consuming and needing instruments and
even the countries. This situation is very important in terms of the political
and economic location of the countries in the world.

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Eastern Mediterranean
countries have an important place in the gas resources. Is the eastern
Mediterranean countries in a position to meet this situation in the world that
can not catch up with the concept of consumerism in terms of energy security?
Let’s try to find some answers to this situation.

Where
is the East Mediterranean?

Lebanon, Syria, Israel,
Egypt, and Cyprus are Eastern Mediterranean countries. the remaining countries
in the south and southeast Turkey on their behalf so that they have also
affects the strategic importance of Turkey in this regard. The question of how
the energy future of these countries, which have an important place in gas
reserves, will be the subject of great curiosity.

 What
is the future of East Mediterranean gas resources?

The eastern
Mediterranean region, with its recent natural gas discoveries, has revealed its
potential for resource. This was the case for attracting the attention of the
world’s leading energy companies. These developments in the Eastern Mediterranean
once again revealed the value of energy resources. It is obvious that energy
reserves are causing tension between countries. In this respect, energy for
reserve-holders in the region has the potential to solve the problems between
the countries and the cooperation and commercial activities to be carried out.
However, sometimes this leads to increased debate. such as the Palestinian
issue, the Cyprus issue and the problems in the region of Egypt. Today, while
these problems in the region have not been solved, the current discussions with
the explored energy sources continue increasingly. Recently, zohr in Egypt,
aphrodite in Cyprus and tamar and leviathan reveres in Israel will play an
important role in the political and commercial future of the countries.

What
are the resources that have been recently found in the Eastern Mediterranean?

The eastern
Mediterranean is the Middle East geographical region which contains 47% of
world-proven oil reserves and 43% of natural gas reserves; It is the gateway to
the Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Black Sea, the Red Sea and the Atlantic
(Kandemir, 2013). Recently, in the eastern Mediterranean, zohr, corn aprodite,
and tamar and leviathan reverbs found in israel have been discovered recently.

The Zohr natural gas
field, located in Egyptian territorial waters and believed to have the world’s
largest reserves, will start natural gas production by the end of the year.
Consequently; Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarik Molla said that Egypt will
start to produce natural gas in the Mediterranean by the end of this year, and
Zohr natural gas bed will have 850 billion cubic meters of gas reserves, which
will be 28 million cubic meters per day. The Zohr has 60 per cent of the
Italian oil company Eni, 30 per cent of Russian Rosneft and 10 per cent of
British BP. Eni discovered Zohr, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, in
August 2015. In other words, it is estimated that there are about 850 billion
cubic meters of natural gas in the area. (enerjigunlugu.net,2017)

“Aphrodite gas
field is an offshore gas field off the southern coast of Cyprus located at the exploratory
drilling block 12 in
the country’s maritime Exclusive
Economic Zone. Located 34
kilometres (21 mi) west of Israel’s Leviathan gas
field, block 12 is believed to
hold 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (100×109 to 170×109 m3)
of natural gas ” (Cyprus Gas News,2013;Hadjicostis,2011). The Aphrodite gas field can stimulate
the local economy against rising unemployment for the Cypriot population.
According to Noble Energy, there is a total gross oil potential of 3.3 billion
barrels (590 × 106 m3). ” The field has a gross mean average of
7 trillion cubic feet (200 billion cubic metres) of natural gas with
an estimated gross resource range of 5–8 trillion cubic feet (140×109–230×109 m3)
oldu?u belirtilmi?tir” (Marshall, Steve,2011;Cyprus
mail,2011).

Israeli Prime Minister
Benyamin Netanyahu told the opening ceremony of the tamar and leviathan gas
reserves in Israel, saying that “Israel has made a significant step
towards energy independence” and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom said
“they are witnessing a historic event”. Also; It has been stated that
Israeli experts have been working on decades of oil exploration efforts and in
1999 discovered a natural gas reserve on the shores of Ashdod port. Following
Ashdod, it is estimated that there are 238 billion cubic meters of natural gas
at 5 thousand meters depth in Tamar deposits on Hayfa openings and 450 billion
cubic meters of natural gas in Leviathan natural gas reserve which is
considered as the biggest natural gas reserve of the world.

Looking at these
sources, it is observed that countries have taken important steps in energy
security. Also; it becomes clear that the resources will lead to the
strengthening of the hands in the political and commercial issues between the
countries.

What
are the potential export routes?

Along with the recently
discovered gas resources, East Mediterranean is seen to be an important point
in the gas trade. This situation strengthens the hands of eastern mediterranean
countries in terms of trade. New export routes are expected to emerge in this
region where large gas companies are starting to compete. Such that;
“Israel can not compete with the US shale gas. But it can compete with
Azeri gas. There is a picture of the EU that we have not seen here. They formed
an energy strategy.  It offers an
opportunity in this regard. The US’s LNG strategy has forced Russia to move
more to the on-spot market and become more flexible. Of course, if Russia gives
a cheaper gas by changing the terms of the contract, all the geopolitical
strategies will leave one side and Russian gas will be obtained. The cheaper
gas is evaluated with the province. This leaves all other projects in a
difficult situation. On the other hand, there is a Cyprus problem directly.
This makes it extremely difficult to set up a pipeline from scratch. I do not
mean not impossible, but not as easy as discussed. For now, no company invests
without a stability and security environment ie without guarantee. Turkey’s
attempts to get this gas, there is a need, telling Russian influence and price
issues aside. In the eastern Mediterranean said “Yes, it would be
incredible if an agreement was made that really disturbed.”

What
are the geopolitical risks associated with the future of Eastern Mediterranean
gas resources?

Energy sources have
been in great conflict between countries for many years. Recently, with the gas
reserves in eastern mediterranean countries, these conflicts are beginning to
cause new debates among countries.

The prominence of the
Eastern Mediterranean is attributed to the fact that it is located in the
middle of a triangle formed by main energy sources feeding the USA, China and
India, energized at every corner of Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
(Özer, 2013)

According to Brenda
Schaffer, Following the current discoveries on the open sea areas of Israel and
Cyprus, significant oil and natural gas exploration activities are taking place
in the Eastern Mediterranean. This activity will lead to additional exploration
and overseas explorations in other parts of the region, especially Lebanon. The
determination of natural gas quantities indicates that the region may be a
remedy for the electricity sector in difficult situations and that despite the
risk of conflict between the two communities on Cyprus there is a significant
commercial interest in oil and gas exploration in Cyprus as reflected in the
new procurement process for licenses. (Emerson, 2012)

These developments in
gas reserves in the eastern mediterranean region, the most important alliance
in recent times, have led to alliances between Israel, Greece and Cyprus. At
the center of this union is the establishment of the Eastern Mediterranean
Pipeline from Israel and Southern Cyprus to transport the Eastern Mediterranean
gas to the European market via Greece and the establishment of the Leviathan
and Tamar fields in Israeli territorial waters and the smaller Cyprus Aphrodite
site in which Israel and Cyprus gas are exported to Egypt the move to Europe
with the existing LNG facilities is expected to lead to the emergence of new
political alliances and negotiations. (Aslan,2017)