Belgium and Europe, both preparing for a particularly harsh winter given the soaring price of hydrocarbons, are turning primarily to the Middle East as they seek to diversify their sources of supply. However, this neighbouring region is currently undergoing profound changes in this regard. While Persian Gulf oil has been at the heart of geostrategic issues since the Second World War, in recent years the focus has significantly shifted towards Eastern Mediterranean gas.
Since the first fruitful prospecting at the turn of the millennium, Israel has progressively established itself as the overall winner of this providential manna. Most of the coastal states in the region, however, are not outdone, as Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Egypt and Libya have all recently discovered gas reserves – albeit of variable size – beneath the seabed of their respective territorial waters. While these newly exploitable resources bode well for a region that has been economically devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, they also bring their own challenges and dilemmas. While the “EastMed” pipeline – connecting Israeli fields to the European market – has been a milestone in the new Mediterranean energy paradigm since 2020, it has also rekindled tensions over maritime boundaries between Athens and Istanbul on the one hand, and Beirut and Tel Aviv on the other. In the wake of these tensions, new alliances (Turkey-Libya) and counter-alliances (Greece-Egypt) have emerged between local actors, while an increasing number of regional and global actors are inviting themselves to the mare nostrum.
In order to interpret the major reconstructions at work in the Eastern Mediterranean, we are pleased to welcome Ms Laury Haytayan, director of the Middle East and North Africa department at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), and Dr Nicolas Mazzucchi, director of research at the French Navy’s Centre for Strategic Studies (CESM).
© Colin-47 via Flickr ; Source : Platform | A natural gas platform approximately 20km offshor… | Flickr
The Gas Equation in the Eastern Mediterranean: Regional Setup and International Ramifications
Moderator : Didier LEROY
Languages: English and French
Simultaneous interpretation in English, Dutch and French
27 October 2022, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:30 – Reception
Rue Hobbema, 8