The Mediterranean Sea lies between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa and is geopolitically very important. At the same time, the countries around the Mediterranean have common interests in the field of energy. Meanwhile, energy consumption in European countries is higher than in other countries, and efforts are more focused on exporting the region’s gas to Europe. Also big countries that dominate the Mediterranean are Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon and Palestine, which are divided into two parts: the Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime.
The parties that have been exploring and measuring the possibility of extracting from the Mediterranean for the past two or three decades include Cyprus, the Israeli regime and Egypt. At the same time, the Israeli regime was ahead of other states in terms of extraction. However, in view of Israel’s inherent procedure, the regime tried from the beginning to control the ownership and facilities of the neighboring countries of Palestine. First, it prevented Gaza from extracting gas from the sea, except in accordance with its colonial conditions, and second, it declared that most of Lebanon’s gas fields belonged to the regime; thus, a long legal dispute arose between the two sides, which have not yielded clear results since the start of mining in Lebanon. That is, the exploration was delayed and now is the time to extract, but legal disputes over some of Lebanon’s 9th and 10th gas fields have persisted and prevented the extraction.
As for Egypt, the Italian gas company Eni and some other companies have started extracting gas, and it is interesting to note that the largest gas reserves are located in Egyptian waters and look like a large mountain under which gas is trapped and one of Egypt’s richest assets.
But there are a few things to keep in mind about Egypt’s gas extraction: first, they started extraction late and in insufficient quantities, and second, Egypt’s high population has led to high energy consumption. This energy is used for industrial, domestic and petrochemical purposes, etc. There were also disputes between Egypt and Israel, which have been resolved to some extent.
At the same time, there are confluxes at the top of the triangles, squares, and geometric shapes of their gas resources. According to the Turkish government, the Cypriot gas on the one hand leads to the country’s blue border, and Turkey claims that the Turkish Cypriot sector must extract gas in coordination with Ankara. Meanwhile, the Greek-speaking part of Cyprus covers most of the country and has a larger share of gas. This has led Turkey to enter into legal, political and even security disputes with neighboring countries such as Syria, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.
In this regard, we saw that Turkey reached an agreement with the West Libya, which is governed by the government of Faez al-Saraj, recognized as the official government of Libya by the United Nations, and sent troops to the region. Turkey’s move was aimed both at strengthening the position of Faez al-Saraj’s government and at reaching a gas agreement to access Libya’s gas resources. Under the deal, it was agreed that Turkey and West Libya work together to extract gas. Thus, Turkey opened a border for itself on the Mediterranean coast and outside the Egyptian border. If we draw a hypothetical line from Italy to the coast of Africa, that part of the coast of Africa that flows into Libya is united with Egypt in the eastern part and with Turkey in the west. Therefore, the border of Turkish gas cooperation with Libya will be outside the borders of Egypt.
At the same time, Cyprus has reached an agreement with Egypt on gas exploration, extraction and development.
Overall, some of these differences are in favor of the Israeli regime, and Greece, which traditionally opposes the Tel Aviv regime, will also have to coordinate gas issues with Israel in multilateral agreements. Thus, Egypt, the Zionist regime, Greece and Cyprus have formed a bloc against Turkey, Libya and northern part of Cyprus. This situation has embroiled the region in further security and military disputes. In the meantime, if Syria, Lebanon and Gaza enter the process of exploring and extracting gas fields, the equations will be much more complex.