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Turkey resumes gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean

A Turkish ship sets off to drill for gas in the eastern Mediterranean – a move that risks inflaming regional tensions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses with Turkey's new drill ship Abdulhamid Han at Tasucu port in the Mediterranean Turkish city of Mersin [Presidential Press Office/Handout via Reuters]



Nearly two years after Turkey halted offshore gas explorations in contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean, a Turkish drillship has departed from the port of Mersin to search for gas in the region.

The Abdullhamid Han drillship set sail on Tuesday with the blessing of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that the ship would operate 55km (34.2 miles) off Turkey’s coast in an area within the country’s sovereign territory.

“The survey and drilling work we are conducting in the Mediterranean are within our sovereign territory. We do not need to receive permission or consent from anyone for this,” Erdogan said at a ceremony to launch the ship.


The eastern Mediterranean, with its substantial natural gas potential, could become a flashpoint for regional and wider disputes after the Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered a global energy crisis and sent importers scrambling for alternative hydrocarbon sources.

Energy minister Fatih Donmez had announced on July 26 that the 238-metre-long (781-foot) last-generation drillship would leave Turkey for an unspecified location.

A day prior to Donmez making the announcement, Cyprus’s energy minister, Natasa Pilides, said Europe’s drive to slash reliance on Russian natural gashad boosted the strategic importance of its offshore finds.


“Europe is a good potential customer for Cypriot gas,” Pilides told Bloomberg. “The EU has confirmed that natural gas will remain a bridge fuel up to 2049 as part of the green transition so companies now have the comfort of being able to secure long-term contracts.”

Gas explorations have been continuing in Cypriot offshore blocks since gas fields were discovered in the early 2000s. Preliminary results from the latest appraisal drilling by a consortium of France’s Total and Italy’s ENI this week confirmed large natural gas deposits in bloc 6 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Pilides said that, as a small country, Cyprus does not need much natural gas for domestic purposes, leaving more for export.

But Turkey – which in 2019 footed a $40bn gas import bill and does not recognise Cyprus as a sovereign state entitled to its own EEZ – has asserted its “sovereign right” to drill for energy reserves off the divided island.


“Turkey has a long-term plan of being an energy hub in the region and playing an important role in EU energy security,” Umud Shokri, a Turkish senior foreign policy adviser, told Al Jazeera.

Its ambitions, however, have repeatedly been frustrated. In January 2019, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum – a multinational body headquartered in Cairo – brought together governments including Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but excluded Turkey.

A year later, Cyprus, Greece and Israel signed an agreement to build the 1,872-kilometre-long (1,163-mile) EastMed pipeline to transport Cypriot offshore gas to Greece and Italy. While partially cutting through maritime areas claimed by Turkey would have been the fastest and cheapest route, the project steered clear of the areas.
“Turkey is being left out of the equation” in the eastern Mediterranean, Shokri said.

The Cypriot question​

Cyprus has long been contended between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. in 1974 a military coup in Cyprus aimed at uniting the island with mainland Greece led to a Turkish invasion of the northern third of the island and an enduring division.
The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus does not recognise the right of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus – a member of the EU since 2004 – to award exploration rights to foreign companies without its consent.
Ankara sent Turkish oil and gas drilling ships to waters off southern Cyprus in May 2019 as part of its Mavi Vatan (Blue Homeland) naval expansion doctrine.


In November 2019, a month after sending the Yavuz drillship to exploration blocs that Greek Cypriot authorities had awarded to ENI and Total, Turkey signed two memorandums of understanding with Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) expanding Turkey’s maritime boundaries with the north African country. The move paved the way for Greece to sign a similar deal with Egypt in August 2020 to delimitate their respective maritime jurisdictions.

Greece and Turkey were on the verge of military confrontation in August and September 2020, after Turkey launched its seismic survey ship Oruc Reis accompanied by a small naval fleet to explore for oil and gas in areas which Greece claims as part of its continental shelf and EEZ but which Turkey disputes.
Tensions simmered until Turkey halted offshore gas explorations in December 2020, shortly after the EU threatened economic sanctions and Joe Biden was elected US president.


On the Turkish Cypriot side of the divided city of Nicosia, Cavit Atalar, the head of the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at Near East University, welcomed the departure of the Abdullhamid Han.

“Turkey had to make a move to make sure that our rights are upheld,” he said.
He said the Cypriot dispute needs to be solved before anyone can go further with gas exploration off Cyprus.
“We cannot let the Greeks carry on as if they were the owners of Cyprus – they are not.”


On the other side of the wall dividing the capital, Theodoros Tsakiris, an energy expert at the University of Nicosia, expressed concern about the possibility of renewed exploration activities in contested waters but said they would not be “an inhibitor to the development of regional reserves”.

“Cyprus will not stop the monetisation of reserves in the EEZ,” the analyst told Al Jazeera.

At the same time, Cypriot authorities are unlikely to comply with the request of Northern Cyprus to have a seat at the table when awarding drilling rights.
“Asking a secessionist entity for permission to negotiate with ENI or Total is tantamount to recognising it as a legitimate interlocutor at the international level,” Tsakiris said.

Reviving the EastMed pipeline​

The dispute is also a problem for the European Union. According to Tsakiris, the Cypriot fields by themselves could offer Europe more than the entire net gas exports of Azerbaijan, a country the bloc recently turned to to boost provisions.


“This is very significant because there is no domestic demand and Cyprus could export essentially 100 percent of what is discovered, provided it is commercially viable,” the analyst said.

In addition to the Cypriot fields, the EU is also relying on boosting imports from Israel, which is also engaged in a maritime border dispute with neighbouring Lebanon.

To transfer gas reserves from the eastern Mediterranean region, the EU has also been looking at the possibility of reviving the six-billion-euro ($6.1bn) EastMed pipeline, despite the US withdrawing its support in January due to concerns about its technical and commercial viability.

“All gas projects that had been stopped are now being resurfaced,” Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz, an energy expert at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), told Al Jazeera, adding that energy companies are aggressively lobbying the EU.

“EastMed could be economically viable now because energy prices are very high, but it likely won’t be in the long term,” the expert added.

Meanwhile, she said cleaner and cheaper options are being ignored. “There is so much interest in building new energy terminals, even though we can more easily reduce demand,” Jaller-Makarewicz said, citing heat pumps as one way of achieving this objective.

While new energy solutions must be found, investing in long-term infrastructure in a fractured region risks turning the eastern Mediterranean into the eye of a new geopolitical storm.

“One must ask, is this really worth it?” Jaller-Makarewicz said.


SOURCE: AL JAZEERA



 

Foinikas

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Your pirate state still to this day supports all kind of terr groups against Turkiye
Bullshit? We have officers and members of Turkish security forces that fled here and requested asylum.
Before you point your fingers to Turkiye extradite those who are wanted by Turkiye.
You've never extradited or even arrested the murderes of Solomos Solomou and Tasos Isaak. They were murdered live on camera. And since the mid-90s you haven't done a thing about it.
Stop your provocations in east med and aegean, disarm the islands. Stop your calls for sanctions.
What provocations? Why don't you disarm the entire coast from the Straits down to Antalya? You want us to disarm the islands,you remove your armies from Izmir and all the coast.
Stop your calls for sanctions.
Stop trying to drill in our EEZ,stop talking about taking our Islands and stop printing maps that contain have the Aegean as Turkish.
 

Akritas

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The doctrine is perfect, before the doctrine Greece and Cyprus claimed EEZ that comes to Turkish coast. People are stupid if they think we as neighbours will not think bad about others. When Turkey comes with counter attack we are bad, but if they come ther is no problem with your logic .


View attachment 870156

Mavi vatan is against Greece colonialism in the sea, we will defend our waters....
The map you posted proves that what you claimed is untrue.
The dotted line means that no EEZ has been defined.
The continuous line means that an EEZ has been defined.
The fact that Turkey is talking about EEZ also shows its hypocrisy. The EEZ is determined according to the International Law of the Sea(UNCLOS), which Turkey does not recognize.

Turkish aggressiveness can be seen in the offers it makes to Israel and Egypt, in order for these countries to break the agreements with Greece and Cyprus.


1660371653297.png
1660371724913.png


How much gas is estimated to be in this area ?
Searchings are still continuing, of course with difficulty, because Turkey is constantly obstructing them.
Just so you understand, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus started the research together about 15 years ago. Today, the first two countries are exporting gas, the last one is still trying to do research.

An picture can be given in the map below.

1660372098494.png
 
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Foinikas

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How much gas is estimated to be in this area ?
The funny thing is that,Erdogan kept buying expensive drilling ships,Turkey had two,he bought a third one and then everyone thought that was a big luxury. Then he bought a fourth one,which was even more expensive. The other thing is,they claim they found a massive gas field in the Black Sea,yet they risk war or sanctions by trying to find even more inside the Greek or Greek Cypriot EEZ. It's weird.
 

Oublious

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The map you posted proves that what you claimed is untrue.
The dotted line means that no EEZ has been defined.
The continuous line means that an EEZ has been defined.
The fact that Turkey is talking about EEZ also shows its hypocrisy. The EEZ is determined according to the International Law of the Sea(UNCLOS), which Turkey does not recognize.

Turkish aggressiveness can be seen in the offers it makes to Israel and Egypt, in order for these countries to break the agreements with Greece and Cyprus.


View attachment 870267 View attachment 870268


Searchings are still continuing, of course with difficulty, because Turkey is constantly obstructing them.
Just so you understand, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus started the research together about 15 years ago. Today, the first two countries are exporting gas, the last one is still trying to do research.

An picture can be given in the map below.

View attachment 870273


Turkish EEZ mean bigger EEZ for Egypt and Israel, Cyprys is stealing more then they have the right for.

lol
 

Foinikas

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The blue is Turkish, you can see how much other countries will get more sea...


Ther is no Turkish agression but Greeece agression stealing others EEZ...

stop spreading lies...

View attachment 870316

I don't know what you're smoking,but Greece already has agreements with Egypt about the EEZ and Cyprus cooperates with Egypt and Israel on the matter,very well. The only one who has a problem is Turkey. You guys complain about Kastellorizo,yet on this map you've reached Crete,took almost all of Cyprus' coastline and EEZ and dispute the sovereignty of so many Greek islands.

Don't talk about expansionism and bullshit,it's right there on your map. These are your plans,your imperalism,your expansionism,your violations of international law.
 

Oublious

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I don't know what you're smoking,but Greece already has agreements with Egypt about the EEZ and Cyprus cooperates with Egypt and Israel on the matter,very well. The only one who has a problem is Turkey. You guys complain about Kastellorizo,yet on this map you've reached Crete,took almost all of Cyprus' coastline and EEZ and dispute the sovereignty of so many Greek islands.

Don't talk about expansionism and bullshit,it's right there on your map. These are your plans,your imperalism,your expansionism,your violations of international law.


this map is answer to Greece imperialism and colonialism in the sea...

it doesn't matter if you made agreement with dumb countries they allow to steal ther eez. Turkey will not let you steal sea, that the fact.
 

Akritas

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Turkish EEZ mean bigger EEZ for Egypt and Israel, Cyprys is stealing more then they have the right for.

lol
Egypt and Israel are serious countries, they respect their signatures. You think that by violating International Law, you will tempt other countries with stupid exchanges. Turkey has a long way to go to become a serious country.

I don't know what you're smoking,but Greece already has agreements with Egypt about the EEZ and Cyprus cooperates with Egypt and Israel on the matter,very well. The only one who has a problem is Turkey. You guys complain about Kastellorizo,yet on this map you've reached Crete,took almost all of Cyprus' coastline and EEZ and dispute the sovereignty of so many Greek islands.

Don't talk about expansionism and bullshit,it's right there on your map. These are your plans,your imperalism,your expansionism,your violations of international law.
They do not hide it, they are addicted to their expansionist nationalism.It is no coincidence that where there is tension and war, there is a Turkey that supports it, either directly (by invasion and occupation), or by involvement (by violating International Law)
 

Foinikas

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this map is answer to Greece imperialism and colonialism in the sea...
What imperialism and colonialism? You're trying to connect Turkey with Libya,saying you have common EEZ,can't you see the nonsense? You've gone in Syria,Iraq,NKR,Libya,Somalia,Chad,isn't that imperialism? Lol!

it doesn't matter if you made agreement with dumb countries they allow to steal ther eez. Turkey will not let you steal sea, that the fact.
Turkey suddenly "remembered" after 60 years,that the sea borders are "wrong"? Lol. Where were you for 60 years?
 

Oublious

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Turkey suddenly "remembered" after 60 years,that the sea borders are "wrong"? Lol. Where were you for 60 years?


It doesn't matter wher we are, we didn't allow you do not means you can steal it from us. Againg you are exposing yourself with answers you are farting. We didn't give you permission case closed.

Egypt and Israel are serious countries, they respect their signatures. You think that by violating International Law, you will tempt other countries with stupid exchanges. Turkey has a long way to go to become a serious country.


They do not hide it, they are addicted to their expansionist nationalism.It is no coincidence that where there is tension and war, there is a Turkey that supports it, either directly (by invasion and occupation), or by involvement (by violating International Law)

Internation law you don't obey you have signed, go first respect every treaty you signed with us about the island and come back when you are ready for to talk about...


lol

Greece are Indians of Europe....
 

Foinikas

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It doesn't matter wher we are, we didn't allow you do not means you can steal it from us. Againg you are exposing yourself with answers you are farting. We didn't give you permission case closed.
Are you retarded? Do you understand what I'm saying or not? You were quiet for 60 years,complying with international treaties and agreements,acknowledging our rights in the Aegean and Mediterranean.

Suddenly,after the 80s,you started changing the narration. Now,the last 5-6 years,you've come up with completely new theories that have nothing to do with reality. That makes YOU the thief here,not us.

Internation law you don't obey you have signed, go first respect every treaty you signed with us about the island and come back when you are ready for to talk about...
Hey,donkey...how many times does one have to explain it to you with sources? We're not the ones violating any Treaties. You're government is living in a parallel reality and you believe their propaganda.

I've covered in detail,why Greece is not violating any Treaties,in another thread. According to the Treaties of Lausanne,Paris and Montreaux. If you missed it,I could c/p it all here again.

Greece are Indians of Europe....
Turks are actually the Indians of Europe. You have an islamist populist government with a boasting figure as a leader,just like the Indians have Modi. You boast about your military power and population just the Indians do. You're propaganda machine and media,create such lies and twist reality just like India does against Pakistan. You're media is obsessed with us just like Indian media is obsessed with Pakistan. You're buying from Americans and Russians and anyone,just like India and you're making your own weapons,presenting yourself as a superpower,while millions of people have economic problems. Just like India. You have a government that raises tensions by using nationalism and religion,just like the BJP does in India against Muslims and others.
 

Akritas

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Internation law you don't obey you have signed, go first respect every treaty you signed with us about the island and come back when you are ready for to talk about...
It is known that Turkey neither respects nor applies International Law.
That's why it also avoids the International Courts, because Turkey knows that it is out of hand.
Regarding International Treaties, if you have a problem, go to us....in The Hague.
There we will see who or not applies the International Treaties.

Greece are Indians of Europe....
What do you mean by.....Indians? Please explain to us better your derogatory comment regarding Indians, because you have said it to me before, but I did not get an answer.
 

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