Why offshore gas in the Eastern Mediterranean has a complicated road ahead

The gas fields of the eastern Mediterranean, discovered over the past decade, have conjured a mix of myth: Aphrodite goddess of beauty, the sorceress Calypso, and the sea beast Leviathan.

But the process of bringing these resources to market has been an odyssey with many twists and turns. Now the political struggle has become a clash of the titans.

The American firm Noble discovered the Tamar gas field off Israel in 2009, the giant Leviathan field in 2010, then Aphrodite off Cyprus (the Greek, internationally recognised country) in 2011. Eni of Italy found Zohr in deep water offshore Egypt in 2015, the largest gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, then Calypso off Cyprus in 2018. Meanwhile Greece-based Energean began developing the smaller Tanin and Karish fields in Israel.

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