jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

A WAR OVER EAST MEDITTERRANEAN GAS RESOURCES?

I have been wondering when this issue would finally break out of the Oil&Gas Industry's press to be addressed as the larger geo-strategy issue that it actually is ... to be fair, a few authors and blogs have addressed it in the last 2 years. But, despite the recent Gulf of Mexico disaster....Those with a financial interest, as usual, are speaking the loudest . Discussion, over geo-strategic matters, are somewhat superficial and the fight, over the resources to be extracted, by the nations involved, looks a lot like a fistfight between greedy and/or desperate gold  diggers… Meanwhile hardly anyone speaks of the..

MAJOR RISK FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT AND THE PLANET AT LARGE  

of pushing for yet another large chunk of sea to be opened for OIL&GAS exploitation - with the laudable exception of the EU Commission Environment Directorate (brief April 2012) - .And we are talking about a closed sea entirely surrounded by countries with large populations that have depended on it for their existence for several thousands of years. The West Mediterranean is also being scrutinized by the 'Black Gold' diggers of the world (offshore SPAIN, offshore ITALY) and, in any case, would not be immune to the consequences of pollution coming from regular exploitation and likely accidents.

ISRAEL, PALESTINE, LEBANON, SYRIA, EGYPT, CYPRUS, TURKEY AND GREECE ARE DIRECTLY CONCERNED.  

The existence of those underwater reserves have been made official by the American government USGS in 2010 and Israel has been the quickest to move to exploitation ... the potential for conflict revolves around the respective legal claims of countries with a coast around the "Levant basin" .. Given the economic implications and temptations for Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.. the EU is far from immune from the disasters of all sorts that the rush for Oil and Gas in the East Mediterranean area.

Having already started exploration, Israel had to establish its claims over water areas via  bilateral agreement  with Cyprus in 2011, currently challenged at the UN by Lebanon.
A few recent links .. 
July 2010 Natural Gas Find In Mediterranean Could Lead To New Lebanon-Israel War - The National (Beirut, Lebanon)
 August 2011 GEO Expro Syrian Offshore: Exciting New Frontier (Industry Press)

September 2011 Brinkmanship In The Eastern Mediterranean | Les Blogs (France24, Paris, France)
January 2012 The Economic And Geopolitical Importance Of Eastern Mediterranean Gas Fields For Greece And The Eu. (Technical Paper, Sales Pitch By Pytheas Limited, Cyprus)
February 2012  New Mediterranean Oil And Gas Bonanza Ray Storch , Seemingly Well Informed Blogger At Geopolitical Analysis And Monitoring
March 2012 Energy Resources In The Eastern Mediterranean: Source For Cooperation Or Fuel For Tension, By Michael Leigh And Charlotte Brandsma – Policy Paper, Brussels Forum (German Marshall Fund)
June 2012 Eastern Mediterranean Tensions Simmer Over Gas Riches - Upi.Com (Press Agency, Us)
July 2012 Geofinancial: Offshore Oil Treasures In Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Industry Press)


 AND PALESTINE?

Unlike the other countries concerned, Israel is not a signatory to the UN Law of the Sea treaty serving as basis to make claims to Exclusive Economic Zones but nevertheless it has recently attempted to make formal claim to its own EEZ by submitting the map of its bilateral agreement with Cyprus to the UN. This has special implications for Gaza's own territorial claims on its coastal waters (and the Gas underneath it). A timely presentation produced by The Palestinian Policy Network and recommended by Phyllis Bennis (Director of the New Internationalism Project at IPS and a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam) adresses that dimension..


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