Offshore Treasure and Turkish Tensions Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Offshore Treasure and Turkish Tensions

Gas and oil deposits under the Eastern Mediterranean Sea bring Israel and the region both prosperity & problems.

by David Shishkoff

Huge deposits of natural gas have been discovered in recent years off the coast of Israel and extending under the Mediterranean Seabed regions opposite Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Syria. The projected value of the natural gas deposits is estimated at roughly 100 billion dollars over the next several decades. These are some of the biggest offshore gas discoveries anywhere in the world in this century.

Offshore drilling within Israel’s maritime borders has already been channeling the first “fruits” of the fuel into Israel since 2013. The natural gas fuel boom has ended Israel’s near-complete dependence on imported fuel and has even begun to make Israel a regional energy exporter.

All of the adjacent countries aim to benefit from the economic windfall. Egypt and Cyprus are already developing offshore gas fields within their maritime borders. The underwater treasure is leading to partnerships between...