In the past decade, thanks to a second round of gas reserve findings such as the Zohr field in Egyptian waters and Calypso in Cypriot ones, the East Med region has become increasingly more important on a strategic level – with the potential to become a viable energy hub and trading partner for Europe beyond supplying the region’s own growing energy needs. Such potential, however, is for the time being hindered by geopolitical and industrial obstacles that include the conflict between Turkey and Cyprus, the relations of the Turkey–Israel–Egypt triangle, the disputes between Israel and Lebanon and the competition arising from the growing LNG market. These issues hinder the conditions needed for the East Med to become the energy hub it can potentially be. For these reasons the paper takes into consideration options for fostering investment and a shared agenda in the area, so as to evaluate the viability and prospects for exploiting the region’s gas resources.
Revised version of a paper presented at the seminar “From Findings to Market - Perspectives and Challenges for the Development of Gas Resources in the East Med”, organised in Nicosia on 1 July 2019 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Istanbul Policy Center (IPC) and Stiftung Mercator under the Global Turkey in Europe V programme.