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10.29.2020 | Earth Intelligence

Maxar Spotlight: Energy Exploration and Escalating Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean

By: Maxar Technologies

Read Time: 2 minutes

The Eastern Mediterranean's recent natural gas discoveries and growing economic potential have set the stage for intense disputes over exploration rights and exclusive economic zones.

In early 2019, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel collaborated with French and Italian energy companies to form the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum. And in early 2020, Cyprus, Greece and Israel signed the EastMed gas pipeline project, with plans to build a pipeline from developing Israeli and Cypriot gas fields through Greece and into Italy, decreasing dependence on Russian gas flowing through Turkish pipelines.

Although not explicitly anti-Turkey, these actions heightened the perception of Turkish exclusion from economic opportunities—and ignited conflicts at sea and ashore.

For this edition of Maxar Spotlight, we examined geopolitical tensions and military posturing in the Eastern Mediterranean. Our experts used monitoring services and imagery analysis to provide timely, relevant insights into ongoing conflicts in the region.

Read the periodical in full to gain a better understanding of how Maxar’s Earth Intelligence capabilities can help reveal patterns of life and insights to predict, mitigate and resolve crisis and conflict.

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Sneak Peek: (excerpt from Maxar Spotlight, Vol. 25)

For much of 2020, the Oruc Reis, a Turkish seismic research vessel, skirted contested waters. Escorted by the Turkish navy, the vessel entered Greece’s claimed EEZ on several occasions, which prompted heightened attention from the other interested states in the region. By late July, Greece had dispatched warships to operate in the vicinity of the Oruc Reis. The show of force on both sides culminated with a mild collision between Greek and Turkish warships on August 12. In mid-September, Turkey called the Oruc Reis back to port 10 days earlier than scheduled, possibly a result of mounting political and economic pressures. Although Greece applauded the move, Turkish officials downplayed its significance. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar claimed the vessel would continue with exploration operations and that Turkey was not giving up rights to the area.

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