In an interview to Sulaiman Hakemy from The National, Dr Carole Nakhle, Director of Access for Women in Energy - a partner organisation to Greek Energy Forum, comments on the recent rising tensions between Greece and Turkey over the latter’s illegal drilling activities in East Mediterranean.
According to Dr Nakhle, the whole focus on the region started in 2009/2010 when Israel hit the largest – as considered at that time – gas discovery of the decade. That had as a result more countries in the region to start hydrocarbon exploration activities in pursue of oil and gas findings, including Cyprus, Lebanon, Greece and Turkey.
While a rapid development of the discoveries, or perhaps more discoveries, could have taken place in the region, as well as a collaboration to build the East Mediterranean gas pipeline with the cheapest option, Dr Nakhle cites that the political concerns are proved to be much stronger than economic interests, even if that is at the loss of the parties involved. The economic cooperation seems not to be strong enough to overcome the political fragmentation, implying that any collaboration in the region will exclude at least one player from the negotiation table.
Dr Nakhle was joined by Mithat Rende, a former Turkish Ambassador, and Spyron Economides, Associate Professor in International Relations and European Politics at the London School of Economics.