Turkey's Oil & Gas Grab from Cyprus. EU Leadership Useless. Fireworks Ahead?

Hot spots in the Middle East with oil tankers being sabotoged are apparently coinciding with Turkey now causing oil & gas trouble for Cyprus and EU. 

Turkey is probably correct in assuming the unelected EU leadership are mostly useless in actually doing anything at all to rein in Turkey's ridiculous 200 mile overreach claims for all oil & gas rights. 

With many countries focusing on the Iran oil sanctions and the 4 oil tankers sabotaged and U.S. blaming Iran (increasing looking to me like another U.S. false flag to justify military action against Iran) Turkey is probably correct in thinking that now is a good time to do their own sabre rattling and forcibly seize disputed oil & gas drilling regions near Cyprus. 

U.S. currently seems intent on initiating military action against Iran, and EU bureaucrats seem mostly just incompetent and indecisive.  Unelected EU bureaucrats will likely form a discussion group to create a statement that everyone will mostly just ignore. 

Meantime.... Turkey scores.

Turkey Flexes In "Largest Ever" East-Med Naval Drills Amid Cypriot Oil & Gas Grab

Turkey kicked off its "largest ever" military drills conducted in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas on Monday. Though the drills are pre-scheduled "annual" exercises, the massively beefed up Turkish naval presence comes as Cyprus is pressing the EU to address illegal Turkish oil and gas drilling inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

... The west supported Greek Cypriot government and Turkey - the latter which occupies northern Cyprus - have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the natural gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has laid claim to a waters extending a whopping 200 miles from its coast, brazenly asserting ownership over a swathe of the Mediterranean that even cuts into Greece's exclusive economic zone. Ankara has in the past demanded that Cyprus formally recognize the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (since 1974) and allow it to share revenues from Cypriot gas exploration. 

... Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly been provocatively sending  warships in support of gas exploration and drilling vessels near Cypriot waters over the past months in order to ward off foreign competition to oil and gas research, according to Cypriot officials, also seeking to bar Cypriot ships and planes from freely traversing its own European recognized waters.  ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not see the US intending to go to war with Iran, there is no reason to unless they try to close the Straits of Hormuz.

If they do close the Straits, then once again the international community will expect the US (not China, not Russia, not the toothless UN, not the EU, etc...) to reopen it.

Regardless of how it would play out, the US would be painted as the aggressor and accused of meddling.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 9:09 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Hot spots in the Middle East with oil tankers being sabotoged are apparently coinciding with Turkey now causing oil & gas trouble for Cyprus and EU. 

Turkey is probably correct in assuming the unelected EU leadership are mostly useless in actually doing anything at all to rein in Turkey's ridiculous 200 mile overreach claims for all oil & gas rights. 

With many countries focusing on the Iran oil sanctions and the 4 oil tankers sabotaged and U.S. blaming Iran (increasing looking to me like another U.S. false flag to justify military action against Iran) Turkey is probably correct in thinking that now is a good time to do their own sabre rattling and forcibly seize disputed oil & gas drilling regions near Cyprus. 

U.S. currently seems intent on initiating military action against Iran, and EU bureaucrats seem mostly just incompetent and indecisive.  Unelected EU bureaucrats will likely form a discussion group to create a statement that everyone will mostly just ignore. 

Meantime.... Turkey scores.

Turkey Flexes In "Largest Ever" East-Med Naval Drills Amid Cypriot Oil & Gas Grab

Turkey kicked off its "largest ever" military drills conducted in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas on Monday. Though the drills are pre-scheduled "annual" exercises, the massively beefed up Turkish naval presence comes as Cyprus is pressing the EU to address illegal Turkish oil and gas drilling inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

... The west supported Greek Cypriot government and Turkey - the latter which occupies northern Cyprus - have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the natural gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has laid claim to a waters extending a whopping 200 miles from its coast, brazenly asserting ownership over a swathe of the Mediterranean that even cuts into Greece's exclusive economic zone. Ankara has in the past demanded that Cyprus formally recognize the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (since 1974) and allow it to share revenues from Cypriot gas exploration. 

... Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly been provocatively sending  warships in support of gas exploration and drilling vessels near Cypriot waters over the past months in order to ward off foreign competition to oil and gas research, according to Cypriot officials, also seeking to bar Cypriot ships and planes from freely traversing its own European recognized waters.  ...

I guess this might as well be consigned to the dustbin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 5/14/2019 at 2:09 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Hot spots in the Middle East with oil tankers being sabotoged are apparently coinciding with Turkey now causing oil & gas trouble for Cyprus and EU. 

Turkey is probably correct in assuming the unelected EU leadership are mostly useless in actually doing anything at all to rein in Turkey's ridiculous 200 mile overreach claims for all oil & gas rights. 

With many countries focusing on the Iran oil sanctions and the 4 oil tankers sabotaged and U.S. blaming Iran (increasing looking to me like another U.S. false flag to justify military action against Iran) Turkey is probably correct in thinking that now is a good time to do their own sabre rattling and forcibly seize disputed oil & gas drilling regions near Cyprus. 

U.S. currently seems intent on initiating military action against Iran, and EU bureaucrats seem mostly just incompetent and indecisive.  Unelected EU bureaucrats will likely form a discussion group to create a statement that everyone will mostly just ignore. 

Meantime.... Turkey scores.

Turkey Flexes In "Largest Ever" East-Med Naval Drills Amid Cypriot Oil & Gas Grab

Turkey kicked off its "largest ever" military drills conducted in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas on Monday. Though the drills are pre-scheduled "annual" exercises, the massively beefed up Turkish naval presence comes as Cyprus is pressing the EU to address illegal Turkish oil and gas drilling inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

... The west supported Greek Cypriot government and Turkey - the latter which occupies northern Cyprus - have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the natural gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has laid claim to a waters extending a whopping 200 miles from its coast, brazenly asserting ownership over a swathe of the Mediterranean that even cuts into Greece's exclusive economic zone. Ankara has in the past demanded that Cyprus formally recognize the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (since 1974) and allow it to share revenues from Cypriot gas exploration. 

... Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly been provocatively sending  warships in support of gas exploration and drilling vessels near Cypriot waters over the past months in order to ward off foreign competition to oil and gas research, according to Cypriot officials, also seeking to bar Cypriot ships and planes from freely traversing its own European recognized waters.  ...

Turkey will become a turkey, its losing friends and allies fast, surrounded by pissed off neighbors and Erdogan's policies do not have any positives by the majority of population for him in country. He can try to flex his muscles and he will soon find out that his muscles have atrophied and there is a new leader in the WH who wont put up with his schitt. Turkey will become isolated and their economy has already started to unwind. We could see oil prices going up because of his stints for the short term but his antics wont last too long. The people in Turkey are looking for a little nudge or a push and he will probably lose control over this if he thinks he can play the strongman and majority of the Turks will go along with him. He is trying to make it as a national pride issue. But he will fail miserably. Also Russia will not sit back and allow the Bosporus shipping lanes to be endangered by Erdogan. Turkey will not get into the EU, will get kicked out of NATO and right now they dont have any good relations with KSA and with that cue no good relations with most of the Arab states and dont forget about Israel.

He has problems with just about everyone.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 5/14/2019 at 2:09 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Hot spots in the Middle East with oil tankers being sabotoged are apparently coinciding with Turkey now causing oil & gas trouble for Cyprus and EU. 

Turkey is probably correct in assuming the unelected EU leadership are mostly useless in actually doing anything at all to rein in Turkey's ridiculous 200 mile overreach claims for all oil & gas rights. 

With many countries focusing on the Iran oil sanctions and the 4 oil tankers sabotaged and U.S. blaming Iran (increasing looking to me like another U.S. false flag to justify military action against Iran) Turkey is probably correct in thinking that now is a good time to do their own sabre rattling and forcibly seize disputed oil & gas drilling regions near Cyprus. 

U.S. currently seems intent on initiating military action against Iran, and EU bureaucrats seem mostly just incompetent and indecisive.  Unelected EU bureaucrats will likely form a discussion group to create a statement that everyone will mostly just ignore. 

Meantime.... Turkey scores.

Turkey Flexes In "Largest Ever" East-Med Naval Drills Amid Cypriot Oil & Gas Grab

Turkey kicked off its "largest ever" military drills conducted in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas on Monday. Though the drills are pre-scheduled "annual" exercises, the massively beefed up Turkish naval presence comes as Cyprus is pressing the EU to address illegal Turkish oil and gas drilling inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

... The west supported Greek Cypriot government and Turkey - the latter which occupies northern Cyprus - have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the natural gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has laid claim to a waters extending a whopping 200 miles from its coast, brazenly asserting ownership over a swathe of the Mediterranean that even cuts into Greece's exclusive economic zone. Ankara has in the past demanded that Cyprus formally recognize the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (since 1974) and allow it to share revenues from Cypriot gas exploration. 

... Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly been provocatively sending  warships in support of gas exploration and drilling vessels near Cypriot waters over the past months in order to ward off foreign competition to oil and gas research, according to Cypriot officials, also seeking to bar Cypriot ships and planes from freely traversing its own European recognized waters.  ...

Speaking of Weak and powerless Europe:
_______________________________________________

 

Europe feels powerless as US faces off against Iran
By Christian SPILLMANN

Brussels (AFP)

 

European powers find themselves powerless to head off a looming clash between the United States and Iran, with no influence over Donald Trump's Washington and fading credibility in Tehran.

Publicly, EU capitals still support the 2015 Iran deal as the best mechanism to keep Tehran's nuclear ambitions in check while easing the sanctions that have crippled its oil-dependent economy.

But as President Trump doubles down on his rejection of the accord and threatens more sanctions, and Tehran responds by threatening to resume some nuclear activity, diplomats are pessimistic.

This week one European official in Brussels admitted to AFP that hopes of saving the deal are getting "weaker and weaker", after the latest EU-US diplomatic encounter laid bare the growing rift.

"No negotiation is possible with the US administration on Iran, on climate, on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, because President Trump refuses to change his positions," one diplomat said.

This came after EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete and US energy secretary Rick Perry failed to paper over their many differences at an uncomfortable press briefing.

With the White House bent on confrontation, the only hope of saving the Iran deal-implementation mechanism, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, lies with Tehran.

If Iran's Islamist government continues to honour its side of the accord, Europe will continue to seek ways to deepen economic ties.

But efforts to set up a "special vehicle" to facilitate trade without exposing EU companies to US sanctions have yet to enable a single transaction, and Europe is losing credibility.

Iran now warns it will restart heavy water production and some nuclear enrichment in 60 days if the Europeans, Russia and China are not able to offset the damage of renewed US sanctions.

"For the moment, Iran's announcements are not a violation of nor an exit from the nuclear deal," one senior EU official told AFP, "but the situation is extremely worrying."

On Thursday, Paris, Berlin, London and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a statement rejecting Iran's "ultimatum", but announcing no immediate new action of their own.

Instead they appear to be awaiting a report at the end of May by the IAEA nuclear watchdog on whether or not Iran is in breach of its JCPOA promise to rein it its nuclear programme.

"We don't impose sanctions on the basis of announcements, but the Iranians know perfectly well what they risk if they cross the line," the senior EU official warned.

That line is not yet crossed.

Iran currently holds 124 tonnes of heavy water, and is permitted 130 under the JCPOA. It has 163.8 kilos of enriched uranium, less than the deal's 202.8 kilo ceiling, according to the IAEA.

Iran has also agreed not to enrich this uranium above the level of 3.67 percent, so if international inspectors are correct, it is still far from the threshold for making a weapon.

Nevertheless, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's announcement dismayed the Europeans as a needlessly provocative tactic, even if there is some sympathy for his domestic plight.

- 'Viable economy' -

"Rouhani is in a very difficult position for economic reasons," a European diplomat told AFP.

Rouhani, who is not Iran's ultimate ruler but serves under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, must demonstrate to regime hardliners that he is not standing idle while the accord unravels.

So he was frustrated by what Tehran sees as the Europeans' failure to react when Trump put an end to waivers that allowed some countries to import Iranian crude without facing US sanctions.

Iranian oil exports, which stood at around 1.5 million barrels per day last year, have fallen to 700,000, according to an EU source who warned this is "insufficient to maintain a viable economy".

But even if Europe wanted to help, it is not a big enough client.

European imports from Iran amounted to only 10 billion dollars in 2017, nine billion of that in energy supplies. Iran imported 10 billion in EU products.

"The European Union never promised that it could itself compensate for the effect of US sanctions," an EU official said. "For oil, Iran needs to look to its main clients, India and China."

And what of Europe's special vehicle, now known as INSTEX?

This was set up by France, Germany and Britain to serve as a payment mechanism to allow Iran to trade with Europe without passing through US-controlled commerce in dollars.

Iran is furious that the mechanism has yet to be put to use, but Europe insists that the fault lies with Tehran -- saying the Islamic republic has failed to set up a mirror-entity to control its side of trades.

US aircraft carrier passes Suez Canal on Iran deployment
Cairo (AFP) May 9, 2019 - American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the Suez Canal Thursday, Egyptian authorities said, as a US strike group heads towards the Gulf amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.

US President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton on Sunday announced the deployment of an aircraft strike group and bomber task force in a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran that it would respond to any attack on the US or its allies.

To reach the Gulf, the carrier must pass through the strategically vital Suez Canal which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

General Ralph Groover, the US defence attache in Cairo, commended Egyptian authorities for ensuring the vessel's "complete safety" during its passage, according to a statement from the canal's Port Authority.

A senior official from the authority, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed to AFP that the carrier had passed through the canal "smoothly".

"We have nothing to do with (its) political dimensions," he said.

In his announcement Sunday, Bolton stopped short of saying Washington planned to enter into a direct conflict with Tehran.

But the deployment comes amid increasingly belligerent rhetoric following Washington's withdrawal last year from the multi-party 2015 deal over Iran's nuclear programme.

In recent weeks, Trump's administration has re-imposed stringent sanctions on Iran and blacklisted the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group.

In response, Tehran said it would stop abiding by parts of the nuclear agreement.

Iran on Monday dismissed the naval deployment as "old news", saying Iranian forces had seen the vessel enter the Mediterranean three weeks earlier.

The USS Abraham Lincoln has been deployed to the Gulf on previous occasions, including during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Russia condemns new US sanctions on Iran, urges talks
Moscow (AFP) May 9, 2019 - Russia on Thursday denounced new US sanctions on Iran's mining industry and called for talks to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.

"The United States has just introduced a new package of sanctions affecting the mining industry in Iran. We strongly condemn this step," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Because of the "seriousness of what is happening," Iran and world powers should meet "to determine ways to normalise the situation," the ministry said.

Moscow said it understood why Iran, in the face of US sanctions, had decided to suspend some of its commitments under the deal.

But it urged Tehran to "refrain from further steps to curtail the fulfilment of its obligations", while calling on other partners in the deal to meet their promises.

Among the steps that needed to be taken, it said, were moves to facilitate financial transactions and to continue trade and economic cooperation.

"We urge everyone not to cut off economic ties, including the purchase of Iranian products, first of all energy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites