Recent Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean
On Friday, October 12, 2012, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Embassy of Cyprus hosted a private lunch discussion on the implications of the recent gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. Sir Michael Leigh, Senior Advisor with GMF, moderated the discussion and outlined the future activities planned for GMF’s Eastern Mediterranean project. Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), Rozlyn Engel (National Defense University), and Mariam Al-Shamma (PFC Energy) gave initial remarks. Following this, the participants—a group of twenty-six, from the government, private sector, and academia—engaged in an off-the record discussion on the short- and long-term challenges and opportunities that the gas discoveries presented for Cyprus, the region, and other international parties. The discussion initially concentrated on exploration and discoveries, moving to the question of production and commercialization, and ending with a focus on the international implications. Among the issues addressed was Cyprus’s potential to become an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean; the impact on European energy security; and whether gas discoveries could act as a catalyst for making progress on resolving the problem of the division of Cyprus; , as well as the importance of reducing tensions among states in the region.