How the energy and geopolitical balances change after the discovery of the maxi gas field in Cyprus

After the discovery in the waters of Cyprus of the new fields in block 6 by Eni and Total, which follow those of Zohr and Nohr in Egypt in 2015, a new geopolitical phase opens for Nicosia, as well as for Athens and Brussels. Indeed, there is the concrete possibility of bypassing Russian supplies, but this is only possible if the gas from three fields is conveyed through the necessary infrastructures (Eastmed gas pipeline). Furthermore, it is possible to open a table with Turkey without the sword of Damocles of the blackmail of the Turkish president Erdogan.

Starting point Ankara: the latter recently announced some discoveries of gas in the Black Sea, but these are small fields that do not affect general needs and that are not comparable in volume and quality to those in which giants such as Eni, Total, Exxon. This is the underlying reason that has up to now animated the Turkish reactions whose government, in order to access such precious waters, puts international treaties in question like that of Lausanne, which he defined in 1923 the borders in the Aegean between Turkey and the powers engaged in the First World War. The case of the possible reunification of Cyprus concerns precisely this condicio sine qua non: also for this reason, and to open a further front of tension with the neighbors, in recent days has sailed the new Turkish drill ship towards the exclusive economic zone on the border with Cyprus.

This morning the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu he sent out a signal: “Our continental shelf also crosses it. We do not allow to enter our continental shelf in this way, ”she said, referring to the newly discovered gas field. “The solution in the Eastern Mediterranean is fair revenue sharing. We have made the necessary notifications to the United Nations and the European Union on this issue, ”she added.

Nicosia has collected an excellent dividend (commercial and geopolitical) from Eni’s discovery: increases its specific weight international by virtue of the agreements signed with i player engaged in drilling and sees its own increase defensive umbrella in case of unfortunate unfriendly intentions on the part of Ankara which could be attempted by a Ukraine effectgiven that in the occupied northern part of Cyprus there are still thousands of Turkish soldiers and vehicles (both land and air).

Thus Block 6 of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, in which the joint venture of Eni Cyprus Limited and TotalEnergies EP Cyprus BV, carries the discovery of one of the largest deposits in the Mediterranean, which significantly changes both the role of the island and that of the players involved: on the basis of the first analyzes the discovered field presents quality characteristics from good to excellent and retains, according to preliminary estimates, a total amount of natural gas of 2.5 trillion cubic feet, about 70 billion cubic meters. These numbers are significant in themselves, but made even more interesting in light of the ongoing gas crisis.

The words of Kevin McLachlanvice president of TotalEnergies, beyond the justified satisfaction with the result achieved, add another element: “This exploration – he said – is another demonstration ofimpact of our strategy exploration that focuses on discovery of resources at low technical costs and low carbon emissions to contribute to energy security, including the supply of additional sources of natural gas supply to Europe ”. The issue of energy security in the Mediterranean therefore becomes central again, also because it touches a series of subjects directly or indirectly involved: Qatar, Israel, Egypt they have every interest in coagulating a Mediterranean energy pax based on the safety of infrastructures and on the real possibility of diversifying the Russian supply. So it is likely that the new Cypriot discovery will lead to a strong reaction of Ankara (stimulated by Moscow and Tehran) which is expected for a fundamental election year: for this reason the allies of Cyprus and Greece (such as the USA and France) are on alert for months on this dial.


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