The discovery of huge gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and the standardization of cooperation between the countries of the region will change the geopolitical landscape in a few years
The discovery of huge gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and the standardization of cooperation between the countries of the region will change the geopolitical landscape in a few years, according to Russian journalistic sources.
“The Cairo-based EastMed Gas Forum is an example of a multi-stakeholder regional partnership where Arab countries, along with Israel and European countries such as Greece, Italy and Cyprus, discuss energy issues. “We must expect a serious expansion of defense cooperation between the countries producing and consuming natural gas in the Mediterranean”, the Russians said.
In a decade, the Eastern Mediterranean has transformed from a “calm sea” into one of the most promising areas of the global oil and gas industry. The Levant Basin contains vast hydrocarbon deposits that have already brought about economic cooperation between political rivals in this volatile region.
The prosperity of the Eastern Mediterranean is determined not only by the size of hydrocarbon deposits, but also in part by existing infrastructure and proximity to consumers, including export markets.
Israel was a country with limited resources that did not have access to oil and gas. Consequently, hydrocarbons had to be imported and transported remotely. The discovery of the Tamar and Leviathan deposits changed everything overnight.
Not only has Israel’s position on energy security been strengthened, but the geopolitical landscape has also changed due to the expansion of cooperation with Egypt, Jordan and Greece. In particular, the export agreement between Tel Aviv and Cairo provides for an economic partnership for several decades.
Under the previous agreement, the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings will import 85 billion cubic meters of gas worth $ 19.5 billion over 15 years. The gas will come from the Israeli Leviathan and Tamar fields via the EMG pipeline.
Chevron is set to invest $ 235 million in infrastructure development in the region. As a result, gas field operators will be able to export an additional 7 billion cubic meters to Egypt annually.
However, the additional imports will also strengthen Egypt’s position as an energy hub and will significantly enhance its energy security. Although the Arab country of Egypt has the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, the Zohr, its growing population requires more and more gas to sustain economic growth.
The two Egyptian gas plants, Idku and Damietta, have been idle for years. Gas previously destined for foreign supplies has now been diverted to the domestic market. Zohr and imports from Israel will change the situation.
These gas terminals have a total capacity of 12.1 million tons per year, a total of 16.4 billion cubic meters. Italian company Eni, which operates Egyptian gas, has already signed an agreement with Naturgy and the Egyptian government to restart the Damietta plant in the first quarter of this year.
The first sign of increased Israeli-Greek energy cooperation was the recent $ 1.7 billion defense agreement for 20 years involving an air base in Kalamata.
In addition, the discovery of gas fields in Cypriot waters has improved the case for the construction of the East Med submarine gas pipeline, worth several billion dollars to Greece and the EU.
Tel Aviv and Cairo have also agreed on an investment for EastMed, which will be completed by 2025.
All these energy agreements and alliances will turn into defense alliances against anyone who plots or threatens these plans in any way.