Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Border Disputes and Gas Fields in the Eastern Mediterranean

 

A quick update for y’all. A lot of natural gas has been discovered under the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Just this month, Israel has started production in the fields it claims. These fields should meet 100 percent of the needs of Israel, plus allow for exports. Another fr*cking miracle! Israel has been cooperating with Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt and the plan was to export to Europe via undersea pipeline through waters claimed by Greece south of Crete.

However, there is now a problem. Turkey and Libya have now claimed exclusive use of the sea between Cyprus and Crete. This means that any energy export pipeline from the Middle East, including from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, will have to pass through Turkey. Turkey will be able to charge any fee, impose any limit, and have the option to turn off the pipeline. This puts them in a powerful position. This new claim by Turkey and Libya is disputed.

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  1. ctlaw Coolidge

    Turkey is not an adherent to the Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). Turkey takes the position that no islands have exclusive economic zones (EEZ – which can extend 200 nautical miles from land). UNCLOS bases EEZ on aspects of the habitability of an asserted island. Thus Turkey claims the UNCLOS EEZ of all the adjacent Greek and Cypriot Mediterranean islands.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50806877

    • #1
    • January 14, 2020, at 5:56 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    This what the Papdopoulis story was about. He had an idea of excluding Turkey from gas pipelines and running them from Israel to Greece. The odd interviews that were used against him in the Trump Russiagate attempted coup were actually about this pipeline. Downer, the Aussie, was very hostile to the idea of excluding Turkey. They did not really talk about Hillary’s emails. Read his book. His field was about energy policy and those who took him out were as much about Turkey as about Trump. It would be interesting to see who was paying them.

    • #2
    • January 14, 2020, at 6:09 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. ctlaw Coolidge

    A lot of Greek Islands are immediately adjacent Turkey’s coast. Under UCLOS, that would make the Aegean mostly Greek EEZ.

    By NuclearVacuum – File:Location European nation states.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8097808

    • #3
    • January 14, 2020, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Is it possible to liquefy the gas and ship it? Is it outrageously costly? Does anyone know?

    • #4
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:09 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic):

    A quick update for y’all. A lot of natural gas has been discovered under the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Just this month, Israel has started production in the fields it claims. These fields should meet 100% of the needs of Israel plus allow for exports. Another frac’ing miracle! Israel has been cooperating with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt and the plan was to export to Europe via undersea pipeline through waters claimed by Greece south of Crete.

    However, there is now a problem. Turkey and Libya have now claimed exclusive use of the sea between Cyprus and Crete. This means that any energy export pipeline from the Middle East, including from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, will have to pass through Turkey. Turkey will be able to charge any fee, impose any limit, and have the option to turn off the pipeline. This puts them in a powerful position. This new claim by Turkey and Libya is disputed. The map shows the maritime area secured by the deal between Turkey and Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    cdor (View Comment):

    Is it possible to liquefy the gas and ship it? Is it outrageously costly? Does anyone know?

     

     

     

     

    It’s perfectly feasible. More expensive than a pipeline, but not so much as to make it unworkable. If the EU didn’t have craniorectal inversion, they would have gone that route instead of the Nordstream pipeline from Russia which gives them the ability to squeeze the EU’s nads whenever Putin fancies.

    • #5
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:14 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic):

    A quick update for y’all. A lot of natural gas has been discovered under the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Just this month, Israel has started production in the fields it claims. These fields should meet 100% of the needs of Israel plus allow for exports. Another frac’ing miracle! Israel has been cooperating with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt and the plan was to export to Europe via undersea pipeline through waters claimed by Greece south of Crete.

    However, there is now a problem. Turkey and Libya have now claimed exclusive use of the sea between Cyprus and Crete. This means that any energy export pipeline from the Middle East, including from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, will have to pass through Turkey. Turkey will be able to charge any fee, impose any limit, and have the option to turn off the pipeline. This puts them in a powerful position. This new claim by Turkey and Libya is disputed. The map shows the maritime area secured by the deal between Turkey and Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    cdor (View Comment):

    Is it possible to liquefy the gas and ship it? Is it outrageously costly? Does anyone know?

     

     

     

     

    It’s perfectly feasible. More expensive than a pipeline, but not so much as to make it unworkable. If the EU didn’t have craniorectal inversion, they would have gone that route instead of the Nordstream pipeline from Russia which gives them the ability to squeeze the EU’s nads whenever Putin fancies.

    It might be easier to secure an LNG facility than a pipeline, and it would eliminate all the bickering over ownership and control. 

    • #6
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Also, it looks to me like the distance between Turkey and Libya is over 400 miles. Under international law they don’t have the right to claim that corridor. Especially since Cyprus and Rhodes and numerous other Greek islands are in the corridor giving Greece a competing claim.

    So Turkey can go pound sand.

    • #7
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:21 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Seawriter Contributor

    cdor (View Comment):

    Is it possible to liquefy the gas and ship it? Is it outrageously costly? Does anyone know?

    We just finished a port in Louisiana to do just that. It had originally been started to receive LNG, prior to the fracking revolution which made importing LNG to the US uneconomical. So they changed it export LNG. I believe a lot of it is going to Europe.

    • #8
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Seawriter Contributor

    Kozak (View Comment):
    So Turkey can go pound sand.

    They don’t have nearly as much sand as Libya.

    • #9
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:38 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A couple of things:

    1–liquifying natural gas is completely feasible and there is today a significant trade in this commodity; however, it is not an inexpensive process, as it requires liquification and regasification plants at the two ends of the route, with highly-specialized ships for the transportation. So, transport costs are more important for the gas industry than for the oil industry.

    An interesting question: how dependent on *distance* are LNG transportation costs?…the costs of the voyage itself should be pretty much linear with distance, but the liquification and regasification costs are fixed regardless of distance.

    2–There are a lot of things that can be made from natural gas, and there may be an opportunity for Israel to develop a substantial plastics and chemical industry based on this feedstock.

    • #10
    • January 14, 2020, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  11. ctlaw Coolidge

    David Foster (View Comment):
    2–There are a lot of things that can be made from natural gas, and there may be an opportunity for Israel to develop a substantial plastics and chemical industry based on this feedstock.

    Israel lacks the geography to do so. Three are no open several square kilometer parcels available along the coast to put up a factory.

    • #11
    • January 14, 2020, at 9:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)

    David Foster (View Comment):

    A couple of things:

    1–liquifying natural gas is completely feasible and there is today a significant trade in this commodity; however, it is not an inexpensive process, as it requires liquification and regasification plants at the two ends of the route, with highly-specialized ships for the transportation. So, transport costs are more important for the gas industry than for the oil industry.

    An interesting question: how dependent on *distance* are LNG transportation costs?…the costs of the voyage itself should be pretty much linear with distance, but the liquification and regasification costs are fixed regardless of distance.

    2–There are a lot of things that can be made from natural gas, and there may be an opportunity for Israel to develop a substantial plastics and chemical industry based on this feedstock.

    I read someplace that LNG + shipping is more cost efficient once a pipeline exceeds 2000 miles. 

    • #12
    • January 14, 2020, at 9:45 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Hugh Member

    Screw the Turks. Ship the gas by sea.

    • #13
    • January 14, 2020, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Front Seat Cat Member

    The new discoveries of gas and oil and giving Israel the ability to export it will cut into the businesses of those who don’t like Israel, including Russia. This reminds me of the Bible where a battle is predicted, both in the Old Testament and New Testament to come down from the North (Russia) and armies will surround the tiny state of Israel – will be be over energy and natural resources? Very interesting post.

    • #14
    • January 14, 2020, at 12:26 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):
    2–There are a lot of things that can be made from natural gas, and there may be an opportunity for Israel to develop a substantial plastics and chemical industry based on this feedstock.

    Israel lacks the geography to do so. Three are no open several square kilometer parcels available along the coast to put up a factory.

    Not sure why the factory would need to be on the coast…put it wherever convenient and get the gas to it via a land pipeline.

    • #15
    • January 14, 2020, at 12:44 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Unsk Member

    Kozak: “Craniorectal Inversion ” from:

    “If the EU didn’t have craniorectal inversion, they would have gone that route instead of the Nordstream pipeline from Russia which gives them the ability to squeeze the EU’s nads whenever Putin fancies.”

    Hmmm , Had to look that one up. Sounds like a pretty severe medical condition. But alas, from the Urban dictionary definition kinda sorta : The psychological disorder of being unable to remove one’s head from one’s arse.

    Pretty spot on. I think Trump should tell Erdogan to go shove it someplace and build the damn pipeline. It looks like it would be in Greek territorial waters. Greece needs all the help it can get. It helps to build a stronger Israel, neuters Turkey and pokes a stick in Putin’s eye all in one swoop – sounds good to me.

    • #16
    • January 14, 2020, at 1:10 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Turkey is not an adherent to the Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). Turkey takes the position that no islands have exclusive economic zones (EEZ – which can extend 200 nautical miles from land). UNCLOS bases EEZ on aspects of the habitability of an asserted island. Thus Turkey claims the UNCLOS EEZ of all the adjacent Greek and Cypriot Mediterranean islands.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50806877

     

    This is interesting. Thanks for the links.

    It’s not just Turkey that does not adhere to UNCLOS. The US has not ratified the treaty, at least according to Wikipedia.

    • #17
    • January 14, 2020, at 3:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lots of information about natural gas transportation costs via pipeline vs LNG tanker:

    https://gaillelaw.com/2018/05/16/lng-vs-pipeline-economics-gaille-energy-blog-issue-66/

     

    • #18
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:26 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Kozak: “Craniorectal Inversion ” from:

    “If the EU didn’t have craniorectal inversion, they would have gone that route instead of the Nordstream pipeline from Russia which gives them the ability to squeeze the EU’s nads whenever Putin fancies.”

    Hmmm , Had to look that one up. Sounds like a pretty severe medical condition. But alas, from the Urban dictionary definition kinda sorta : The psychological disorder of being unable to remove one’s head from one’s arse.

    Pretty spot on. I think Trump should tell Erdogan to go shove it someplace and build the damn pipeline. It looks like it would be in Greek territorial waters. Greece needs all the help it can get. It helps to build a stronger Israel, neuters Turkey and pokes a stick in Putin’s eye all in one swoop – sounds good to me.

    Concur 100%.

    • #19
    • January 15, 2020, at 6:32 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Mendel Member
    Mendel Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Even if Israel and Greece chose to ignore the protests of Turkey and Libya (which they should as a matter of principle), would an undersea pipeline not be incredibly vulnerable to sabotage by Russia, who would obviously have an interest in kneecapping its competition?

    I imagine that disabling the pipeline using submarines would be subtle enough and provide enough deniability that Russia would not face any real blowback.

    • #20
    • January 15, 2020, at 7:17 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    As an aside, Israeli advances in desalination have recently given them a substantial water surplus.

    That coast has been a twin blessing for them. I wonder if they can reclaim land from the sea like the Netherlands, and make it a triple-play.

    • #21
    • January 16, 2020, at 3:50 AM PST
    • Like
  22. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    As an aside, Israeli advances in desalination have recently given them a substantial water surplus.

    That coast has been a twin blessing for them. I wonder if they can reclaim land from the sea like the Netherlands, and make it a triple-play.

    What they could use is Gaza but it is a hothouse of 8th century madness. Actually, I have seen a video of some of it and there are very prosperous places but, as usual, they are the possessions of the rulers.

    • #22
    • January 16, 2020, at 10:38 AM PST
    • Like
  23. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Interesting. I wonder if we are going to see something similar dispute with with Brittan and Norway (also EU) since the British people now have control over their waters in the North Sea. That treaty is was a big reason a lot of those costal communities voted for Brexit. Who knows how many un-discovered Gas/Oil fields there is yet to find up there.

    • #23
    • January 16, 2020, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. ctlaw Coolidge

    Brian Clendinen (View Comment):

    Interesting. I wonder if we are going to see something similar dispute with with Brittan and Norway (also EU) since the British people now have control over their waters in the North Sea. That treaty is was a big reason a lot of those costal communities voted for Brexit. Who knows how many un-discovered Gas/Oil fields there is yet to find up there.

    They would have to first kill all the ecofascists in the country to even consider it. That would leave about five people.

    Technically, nothing similar should occur as the parties are all subject to UNCLOS.

    One weird thing is not Brexit but the Scottish independence movement. They are delusional because they are all greedy over getting that North Sea territory while ignoring the fact that they would enjoy little of its value as an EU member. That may be why Norway did not join.

    • #24
    • January 16, 2020, at 1:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Seawriter Contributor

    ctlaw (View Comment):
    One weird thing is not Brexit but the Scottish independence movement. They are delusional because they are all greedy over getting that North Sea territory while ignoring the fact that they would enjoy little of its value as an EU member. That may be why Norway did not join.

    Having worked with Norwegians in the oil industry circa 2011-15 I can state it is why Norway did not join. At least based on what they told me. 

    Also, the Norwegians were cagey enough to trade Denmark virtually all of the herring fishing rights in the waters between Norway and Denmark in exchange for most of Denmark’s oil extraction rights in that same era way back when North Sea oil became a thing. The Danes preferred fish oil to rock oil, I guess. 

    Norway went from being Europe’s poorest country to its richest virtually overnight. Think of it as the Kuwait of Europe, with a wiser use of its oil dollars.

    • #25
    • January 16, 2020, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    As an aside, Israeli advances in desalination have recently given them a substantial water surplus.

    That coast has been a twin blessing for them. I wonder if they can reclaim land from the sea like the Netherlands, and make it a triple-play.

    What they could use is Gaza but it is a hothouse of 8th century madness. Actually, I have seen a video of some of it and there are very prosperous places but, as usual, they are the possessions of the rulers.

    Gaza is tiny even by Israeli standards, and extremely densely populated by a population whom, even if they weren’t hostile on a borderline insane level, would end Israel as a Jewish state by their very existence. Besides which, its running out of groundwater and is nowhere near (by local standards) the gas fields. The only people who could use Gaza are its residents, if they would just take a page from Egypt and Jordan’s book and stop hating Israel more than they love their children.

    • #26
    • January 16, 2020, at 8:04 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. ctlaw Coolidge

    Turkey has been drilling southeast of Cyprus, near the Israeli and Egyptian EEZ and picking a fight with French companies who leased rights from Cyprus.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cyprus-turkey-may-stolen-data-120619516.html

    https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2019/10/12/french-frigate-cyrpus-block7-eez/

    • #27
    • January 23, 2020, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Seawriter Contributor

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Turkey has been drilling southeast of Cyprus, near the Israeli and Egyptian EEZ and picking a fight with French companies who leased rights from Cyprus.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cyprus-turkey-may-stolen-data-120619516.html

    https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2019/10/12/french-frigate-cyrpus-block7-eez/

    Maybe the French can send their Marine nationale. They have the Charles de Gaulle. Sometimes.

    • #28
    • January 23, 2020, at 8:25 AM PST
    • 1 like

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