Monday, 3 September 2012

Extortion On Cyprus' Natural Reserves: - Co-Management Or Possible Confrontation?

From  Hellas Frappe  

A suspicious article titled "Race to tap fuel is on, adding profit motive to island’s political tension" by James Kanter in The International Herald Tribune (Date: August 31, 2012) sides with Special Envoy of the US Department of Energy Richard L. Morningstar's views on how Cyprus' natural reserves should be pooled.

The article then shockingly goes on to say that "an American company, Noble Energy, based in Houston, is leading the drilling in Cypriot waters, along with Israeli partners, giving both the United States and Israel huge stakes in the find. They are working with Greek Cypriot leaders, many of whom regard the undersea area as theirs to exploit as they please, at least for now." Imagine that... the audacity of the Greek Cypriots to even believe that the natural reserves which are located in THEIR Territorial waters are theirs. Kind of makes you want to swallow a few sedatives doesn't it? (THE NATURAL RESERVES BELONG TO CYPRUS YOU BLOKE!)

He continues by writing that "Turkey has threatened to send its navy. To underscore its displeasure, in recent months Turkey has erected a large oil and gas exploration rig above Sinirustu, a village near the coast of northern Cyprus, and festooned it with flags. Even before any gas has been tapped, the discoveries have created ''risks, big risks, as well as a myriad of legal issues,'' Richard L. Morningstar, the former U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, said in March. The issues ''go beyond Cyprus, they go beyond Israel, they go beyond Greece - they affect the whole region.''

The only thing he did not say is that only the US can manage these natural resources not Cyprus, not Greece, not Israel... only the West can (or rather has the right to)!

Michael Leigh, a senior adviser to the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, who is leading a series of studies on hydrocarbon finds in the eastern Mediterranean was also quoted in the article as saying that "there has got to be a way to put the conflict on the back burner and to create conditions for both sides to reap benefits.'' But he did not stop there, he also noted that ''you can never rule out inadvertent accidents and hostilities, but the broad diplomatic logic is that Turkey will not up the ante in Cyprus too much.''

The article does however confirm that Cyprus sits next to the Levant Basin, which is "estimated to hold 122 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 3.5 trillion cubic meters, enough to supply the entire world with natural gas for about a year."

It adds that Noble has already announced findings that amount to almost 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with the majority in Israeli waters and about 7 trillion cubic feet in Cypriot waters and underlines that exports from Cyprus could add up to a substantial portion of its annual output of about $25 billion.

The article also downplays the threat of war from Ankara, and says that despite this 15 companies and consortia including Marathon Oil of the United States and Enel of Italy bid this year on nine additional blocks. Ankara has since warned those companies that they ''will in no way be allowed to take part in Turkey's future energy projects.'' It also pledged to ''give every support'' to enforce the territorial claims by northern Cyprus.

It also speaks about the rift between Turkey and Israel, who were once friends. "The drilling also has become entangled in a bitter rupture between Turkey and Israel. Once friends, the countries have been at loggerheads since an Israeli commando raid two years ago on an aid vessel bound for Gaza called the Mavi Marmara. Nine Turks died in the raid. Israel has since turned to Cyprus as a regional partner, signing defense and cooperation agreements this year partly aimed at protecting their overlapping gas fields. In May, the tensions between Turkey and Israel spread to the skies above Cyprus, when the Turkish Army command said its fighter jets had chased an Israeli plane out of northern airspace. That same month, the Cypriot government denied a Turkish news report that Israel planned to deploy 20,000 commandos in Cyprus to protect Israelis working on energy projects.

Is it just us, or did you notice that there was no reference whatsoever to Russia in this article. And the reason we say this is because Russia is getting set to give Cyprus a loan - so that it can avert the IMF and EU mechanism.

Is this what Morningstar referred to when he said that this goes "beyond Cyprus, beyond Israel, beyond Greece - (it) affect(s) the whole region.''

Well back in March we featured an article here on hellasfrappe where we commented on Morningstar's comments which spoke about the recent discovery of natural gas in the EEZ of Cyprus. At the time he said that this should be viewed as a positive development because it is going to provide new volumes of energy and alternative gas supplies for neighboring countries and Europe. But here is where the all the juice is, Morningstar said that "everyone" has to benefit from these discoveries. In fact the US ambassador clearly stated that the US recognizes the right of Cyprus to carry out research and production of hydrocarbons, but the resources that will result from this venture must also benefit Turkey (or the politically correct term he used was Turkish-Cypriots -if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck it must be a duck-).

Obviously Morningstar rallied in favor of Turkey by saying this because he is vindicating the positions of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots on the Cyprus issue. And what is more he also underlined that the issue of natural gas and new energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean are above and beyond the power of the countries which are directly involved (Cyprus, Israel and Greece). Essentially, what he meant -or rather the message that he was trying to get across- was that the three countries have a very valuable and significant commodity that is needed by the global community, and therefore cannot be managed by themselves!

According to Richard Morningstar the solutions "that will be selected" for the exploitation of energy sources in the Eastern Mediterranean, will be beneficial for all the countries of the region. Read more about this article by clicking here - SPECIAL REPORT - US Supports Turkey In Energy Game, Greek-Cyprus-Israeli Agreement Not Signed 

Also please read - SPECIAL REPORT– Hillary came to Greece to seal oil exploration deals!

That is why the we felt the need to comment on the article in the Herald Tribune. Clearly after the reading the article we came to the conclusion that the newspaper has close relations with the status quo in Washington (or the State Department because it basically expresses its positions on all issues). One example of this is a key phrase in the article which says:

''What if Turkey and Israel find some face-saving way for Israel to apologize for the Marmara incident, and Israel pipes gas direct to Turkey? Cyprus could be left high and dry.''

Now how can one interpret this?


The West speaks... everyone is forced to listen... or else!


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