Turkish PM Erdogan on recent visit to Egypt; more energy influence at Israel’s expense. AP photo by Maggie Michael and Lee Keeth
In a continuation of his anti-Israel and anti-Cyprus governmental and economic policies, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to persuade Egypt to ship its natural gas to Europe, via the Nabucco Pipeline scheme that is being hailed as a “gas bridge” between Europe and Asia. It will bypass Israel and Cyprus, of course.
The idea to send Egyptian natural gas to Turkey has been the subject to acts of sabotage and terrorism to Egypt’s pipeline sending natural gas supplies to Israel may or may not have resulted in Turkey’s fast deteriorating relations with Israel, and changes occurring in Egypt since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mobarak during the so-called Arab Spring. These uprisings also resulted in the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo by Egyptian demonstrators. The drastic change of events in Egypt has forced Israel to concentrate more on developing its own natural gas resources from undersea fields offshore from its Mediterranean coastline.
Nabucco “gas bridge” pipeline scheme
It’s possible that Erdogan, who recently visited Egypt, is trying to expand his country’s influence in the Nabucco Pipline agreement that was signed in 2009 in Ankara and in which Turkey and several European countries (Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria) will receive natural gas supplies from sources in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkmenistan and possibly Iran. The Nabucco pipeline scheme, as reported recently in Israel’s Globes financial news site, said that Erdogan wants to build an energy coalition against natural gas production agreements between Israel and Southern Cyprus.
According to the Globes article, Egypt already has a gas pipeline network to supply both Jordan and Syria with natural gas. It would therefore be possible to extend this pipeline network to link up with the Nabucco pipeline network that will run through Turkey from northern Iraq and into Europe; ending in Vienna Austria.
Erdogan proves a point during Cairo visit
This idea will give Turkey more control over a natural gas system that will be in direct competition with Russia’s natural gas business with Europe; as well as an answer to Israel’s natural Leviathan gas reserves and those of Greek Cyprus .
All in all, it’s just another step in Recep Erdogan’s goals towards Turkey being the most influential country in this part of the world, including the energy sector.
If Erdogan’s natural gas plans don’t work with the Egyptians, Cairo might also consider solar energy projects that have been in consideration even before the “Arab Spring” began.
Read more on regional natural gas and other energy issues:
Greek Cyprus Fearful Over Offshore Gas Well Drilling
Israel Readies Offshore Natural Gas Pipeline
Third Egyptian Natural Gas Pipeline Blown Up by Terrorists
Arab Spring May Boost Chances for Desertec Solar Power