Competition Area of Energy Companies: Eastern Mediterranean.
Recently, energy exploration studies and maritime jurisdiction discussions in the Eastern Mediterranean constitute one of the most important agenda items of countries’ foreign policy.
Many countries that have borders only to the region closely follow the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, other international actors want to have a say in the region through global energy companies. The inclusion of not only states but also global energy companies in the energy equation causes the waters in the region to warm up. So, which are the energy companies operating in the Eastern Mediterranean?
1. Noble Energy (USA)
Noble Energy, which made its first major discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2010, is one of the companies that has the most say in the energy of the region. So much so that it owns a 39.66% stake in the Leviathan field (Israel), one of the largest natural gas fields in the region.
Noble Energy is also one of the first companies to start drilling works in the so-called 13-plot energy exploration area announced by the Greek Cypriot Administration. In 2011, the company discovered a new natural gas deposit of 350 billion cubic meters in the field called Aphrodite and further increased the amount of energy reserves it controlled. Noble Energy still continues its energy exploration efforts today with the support of the American Navy.
2.Kogas (South Korea)
South Korea is implementing its plans in the Eastern Mediterranean through the Kogas energy company. Developing economic relations with the Greek Cypriot Administration on oil and natural gas, Kogas operates in many exploration fields.
Kogas, the state company of South Korea, continues to work on parcels 2, 3 and 9, one of the so-called energy exploration fields announced by the Greek administration. South Korea, which wants to have a say in the Eastern Mediterranean energy, is working to obtain a search permit not only from the Greek administration but also from many countries that have rights in the region.
3. British Petroleum (UK)
Britain has an important naval power in the region due to both the Syrian crisis and the energy competition in the Eastern Mediterranean. In addition to its military and political contacts in the region, Britain wants to maintain its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean through its own energy companies.
As a matter of fact, British energy company British Petroleum owns a 10% share in Egypt’s Zohr field and 50% in the Baltim field in the West Nile Delta. British Petroleum, which has been cooperating with the Italian-based energy company ENI since the 1960s, continues its energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
4. Total (France)
The Eastern Mediterranean region, which has been at the center of energy politics in recent years, is also on the foreign policy agenda of France. Closely following every political crisis in the region, especially Syria and Cyprus, France follows an aggressive foreign policy in the region by organizing joint military exercises with the Greek administration, Greece and Italy in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Total energy company, originating in France, is carrying out serious studies to create a sphere of influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. The company continues its drilling activities in the 6th and 11th parcels in the so-called energy exploration zone announced by the Greek Cypriot administration.
5. Qatar Petroleum (Qatar)
Although Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of energy resources, it considers the energy competition in the Eastern Mediterranean as an important foreign policy issue. The dependence of European countries on imported energy makes Qatar an alternative supplier country other than other Middle Eastern countries.
For this reason, even though Qatar is a state with high energy production, it continues to keep global oil and natural gas resources and the transmission lines of these resources under control. Qatar’s state-owned company, Qatar Petroleum, has many energy exploration licenses in the Eastern Mediterranean. Establishing strong alliances with the Greek Cypriot administration, Qatar Petroleum has the energy exploration license in the so-called 10th and 11th parcels announced by the Greek Cypriot administration.
6. ENI (Italy)
Italy, which has created a strong presence in the Eastern Mediterranean to keep its geopolitical rivals away from the region and ensure energy security, follows an active foreign policy in the region. Italy’s company ENI discovered one of the largest energy fields in the Eastern Mediterranean with a capacity of 850 billion cubic meters in Egypt’s Zohr field in 2015. After this great discovery, the company accelerated its work.
In 2018, it started feasibility studies by obtaining the exploration license of the Nour-1 field in the Shorouk license area, which is estimated to be about three times the total reserve amount of Zohr. ENI, which obtained a license for natural gas and oil exploration works on the Lebanese continental shelf in the same year, is one of the strongest energy companies in the region. The company, which has been continuing its seismic research in the region since 1954,