Some Important Points:
- Cyprus and Egypt must be very careful as a member of the EU the first and an Arab state the latter when they sign bilateral agreements with Israel. On the one hand, funds from natural gas reserves could fund further colonization and war regarding the Israelo-Palestinian conflict. Recently, Israel,has approved a further expansion of its colonial settlement enterprise in Occupied Palestine with thousands of new units to further deny the people of Palestine the right to freedom and self-determination. On the other hand, Cyprus could offer its assistance regarding the Israeli-Lebanon maritime dispute but the conflict is more deeper as these countries were involved into a war 10 years ago.
- Turkey will always search to influence political happenings in the Near East. There is still the possibility on the table to transit the Natural Gas discoveries to Europe through a pipeline passing Turkey. Unfortunately, Turkey is an unstable country at the moment after last years’ failed-coup. The major risk is that Turkey cuts the gas suppy of this possible pipeline in order to put pressure for any political purpose.
Last year Eni discovered large offshore reserves at Zohr discovery off Egypt that could reach 850 billion cbm. The discovery of Zohr raised hopes that new reserves can be found near the island of Cyprus.
In November 2011 Turkey’s national oil company TPAO signed an accord with Shell for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey.
To date, TPAO’s exploration activities have been focused on the gulf of Antalya, Iskenderun bay and Mersin bay in the eastern Mediterranean.
The American company Exxon Mobile, French Total, Italian Eni and Qatar Petroleum received contracts for studies of hydrocarbons in the waters near the island of Cyprus. Eni and Total, each with 50% share, received license to explore Block 6 in Cyprus offshore zone. The applicants selected in the third licensing round are the consortium of ENI and Total for Block 6, Eni for Block 8 and the consortium of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum for Block 10.
With the deal Eni has gained the right to explore an area of 2,215 sq km near the giant Zohr discovery off Egypt, which is not far from the listed blocks.
Drilling campaigns will start this year with an exploration well for Total in Block 11, which lies about six kilometres from the Zohr discovery. ENI will drill two wells in its previously acquired blocks (2, 3 and 9) and most probably in the new ones beginning of next year. ENI recently signed a farm-in agreement with Total, acquiring a 50 per cent participating interest in Block 11.