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Turkey’s Potential Role in the Emerging South-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Corridor 18 mars 2014

Posted by Acturca in Energy / Energie, EU / UE, Middle East / Moyen Orient, South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est, Turkey / Turquie.
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IAI Working Papers (Istituto Affari Internazionali) 14|05, March 2014, 20 p.

by Elif Burcu Günaydın *

South-Eastern Mediterranean gas findings have raised much interest in recent years. Even though the estimated quantity of reserves is not globally significant, it is enough to be a regional game changer, promising a considerable amount of gas surplus to be exported. The main export route and potential customers are still being debated. Turkey, with its growing gas consumption, geographical location and existing pipeline system, is considered to be the most feasible option both as a customer and a transport route. Nevertheless, the fact that Israel and Cyprus, with whom Turkey had difficult relations, are the first two explorers of significant resources complicates considerably the situation. Optimistically, the reserves may lead to a solution to the Cyprus conflict and restore diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. However, energy resources are known to be a double-edged sword that can lead to collaboration but also to conflict. Either way, gas production will find its way to the markets. It will be up to regional actors to decide whether this way will be paved via interim agreements or via a permanent settlement that could initiate regional energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

* Elif Burcu Günaydin is visiting researcher at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), and works as an energy expert in the Energy Market Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Turkey (EMRA).

Paper produced within the framework of the IAI-Edison project « The changing regional role of Turkey and cooperation with the EU in the neighbourhood », March 2014.

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