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The Energy Equation in the Eastern Mediterranean

The energy resource potential and discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have attracted the attention of the global energy markets for a long time. Since the beginning of the 2000s, exploration, and drilling activities have continued to increase in the region. The discovered hydrocarbon resources are only a small part of the estimated potential, consequently, the actors in the Eastern Mediterranean have been focusing on increasing this quantity. On the other hand, the ongoing discussions related to Exclusive Economic Zones have delayed the seismic surveys, drilling operations, and production activities in some specific areas of the region. Moreover, transferring the discovered resources from the Eastern Mediterranean to the international markets is another issue that has not yet been resolved. Therefore, this study evaluates the general situation in the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of the potential of energy resources, discoveries, and transfer projects. In this context, this paper examines the geo-economic competition over the energy resources in the region.

The Energy Equation in the Eastern Mediterranean
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The Eastern Mediterranean Basin has become popular since the beginning of the 2000s, especially in the context of the potential energy resources in the region. Along with this potential, debates on discoveries, production processes, and transfer options of the resources have continued. Although the current situation in the region started 20 years ago, the historical process of offshore drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean goes back to the 1960s. During this period, Egypt and Israel carried out various drilling operations.1 However, success could not be achieved due to the technical deficiencies and conditions of that period. In the early 2000s, exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin began again with the small-scale discoveries of Israel. The discoveries of Tamar and Leviathan fields located in Israeli territorial waters in 2009 and 2010 caused international attention to turn to this region.

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