Tag: Cyprus

Israel, Cyprus Gas Find Spurs Mediterranean Race

Chris Perver 90x115by Chris Perver

The recent discoveries of vast deposits of natural gas off the coast of northern Israel are threatening to destabilize the Middle East as governments compete for the rights to grant licenses for exploratory drilling. Back in 2009 Nobel Energy announced their largest ever find of natural gas, just 90 kilometres off the coast of Haifa. Around 16 trillion cubic feet of gas was discovered in the ‘Leviathan’ field, which lies within Israel’s territorial waters. An additional 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas was found in the ‘Tamar’ field, enough to meet Israel’s energy requirements for the next 100 years. The company estimates that the Levant basin, the trench joining Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus, could contain as much as 300 trillion cubic feet of gas, which would transform Israel from being dependent on gas imports into one of the world’s major energy exporters. But border disputes between Israel and Lebanon, as well as between Cyprus and Turkey, are threatening that prospect.

Turkey Suspends All Defense Ties With Israel; Threatens To Attack Cyprus

Chris Schang 90x115by Chris Schang

In a sign of growing Turkish hostility towards Israel, Turkey announced today that it would be suspending all defense ties with Israel and that other ties would be evaluated as well. In addition to this sudden move, Turkey also threatened to attack Cyprus if they go ahead with development of the oil and gas fields off the Israeli coast. The world community, in particularly the U.S., has been very worried about the downhill nature of current Israeli-Turkish ties. With the release of the Palmer Report on Friday last week that upheld Israel’s Gaza blockade, the Turks led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stirred the entire region up with these nearly insane outbursts and moves that are surely to send ripples across the Middle East. The Israel National News reports:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stirred up the Middle East further Tuesday, halting trade with Israel while Turkey threatens to attack Cyprus if it lets Noble Energy drill for gas. Israeli businessman Yitzchak Tshuva has options to license some of the gas.

Ignoring pleas from the United States to calm down after a United Nations report stated that Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza is legal, Erdogan warned he will send more ships to patrol in the Mediterranean Sea and still is considering a visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza. He said Turkey is "totally suspending" defense industry ties with Israel, two days after recalling its ambassador and reducing diplomatic ties to a third-tier level.