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YUSUF KANLI > Time for a decision for Cyprus talks

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Turkey and Turkish Cypriots are pressing hard. The U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy Alexander Downer will be gearing up his efforts with visits to Ankara, Athens and Cyprus soon. Britain and the United States are in favor of a quick resumption of the Cyprus talks. Yet, since there is a need for two to tango, the dance season will open only when Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades feels he can deal with something other than the economic disaster he inherited from socialist Demetris Christofias.

Expecting Russia, France or others in love with the Greek Cypriot side for this or that reason to wake up all of a sudden from their platonic romance would be unrealistic. The radical haircut Russian deposits suffered in the Greek Cypriot banks as part of the bailout plan with the EU and the IMF was very painful for Moscow. Yet, forget abandoning Greek Cypriots, will Moscow lift its embargo on the release of the 2004 report of the U.N. secretary-general on his peace plan that was dumped by Greek Cypriots and approved by the Turks in separate referendums? No way.

Could the Greek Cypriot state offer Russia anything further than temporary access to its air or naval bases? Can it allow Russia have a full-fledged base with full control on Cypriot territory to replace for example the Tartus naval base on the Syrian Mediterranean coast? Such “options” indeed were discussed during former Finance Minister Michael Sarris’ visit to Moscow in March, but nothing came out.

Now, the bailout package was inflated with a further 6 billion euros to 23.5 billion euros and the amount of money Greek Cypriots were to raise increased from around 7.5 billion euros to 13.5 billion euros. This would mean new taxes, tighter public sector expenditures and of course privatization. Selling “excessive” gold reserves might produce some 400 million euros, that’s all. A further haircut of bank deposits appears unavoidable. Tourism season is opening. Like previous years hopes pinned on an increased number of Russian tourists. Will they come at least in the numbers hoteliers and the Anastasiades administration hope after the not-so-pleasant haircut their money in Greek Cypriot banks had? Offering Cyprus passports in compensation to Russian depositors who lost at least 3 million euros in Cyprus banks might be an indication of the frustration Anastasiades is in.

Most probably waiting for better times to resume U.N.-sponsored Cyprus intercommunal talks will be something like praying for water in the Sahara desert. All indications show that things will get worse at least for the next two years. Hoping for gas revenues would as well be a romantic undertaking as even if there were no problems with Turkish Cypriots and Turkey on offshore hydrocarbon resources, how would it be exported to European markets? Pipeline to Greece? Really? Building an LNG terminal? At a fraction of such costs Cyprus gas can be connected to the Turkish, thus European network. Besides, Turkey and Israel have started to patch up. Israelis might not be on board for a LNG plant on Cyprus while there is the Turkey pipeline option, particularly in view that Turkey indeed would be the prime buyer of Israeli gas.

The new Cyprus process, however, may start immediately with a confidence-building measure: Anastasiades’ agreeing to lift the Greek Cypriot veto on direct trade between the EU and Turkish Cypriots, opening the Ercan airport to international flights and Turkey opening its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots. It is high time.

April/17/2013

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cemal ahmet

4/20/2013 1:33:03 PM

Baris-I dont need to Google coz Im not interested in the words rounding on the streets or a classical media supported pump "n" dump rumours.Im only interested in the officially published news by the stock-exchange listed companies like Noble-Delek.Noble officially announced their Final Investment Decision in line with Israel Gas Commission Final Recommendations(Priority on Domestic Market Balanced with Export Markets-15.9 Tcf reserved for domestic market, 17.7 Tcf available for export) ------>

Baris

4/19/2013 11:20:27 PM

(2) And yet, you, an outsider, can make a bold statement like "pipe-lines through Turkey ? no way,not 1million years". Incredible! I'm still waiting for your proof that Israel has rejected the pipeline option. I like your excuse "Im not allowed by the moderator to post any relevant links", I must remember to use it if I ever get stuck in an argument. Truth is, this has the potential to shape the entire politics of the area and nothing is finalised yet. Israel may go with LNG or pipeline or both.

Baris

4/19/2013 11:20:07 PM

Cemal Ahmet, (1) you being an an expert oily-man doesn't change the fact that anything is still possible. Sure there are political issues regarding pipeline to Turkey but it makes a lot of sense and it could well be the catalyst to solve many of the problems in the area. That's why it is seriously being considered as we speak. Google "Producers eye export routes for Israeli gas" for the FT article. Google "Israel gas pipeline" for other sources. That's why Israel hasn't yet committed.

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 6:03:17 PM

Eastern Mediterranean Exports Progressing multiple options Onshore LNG Sites in 3 different countries have been evaluated (Israel, Cyprus and Jordan) Plan to complete Pre-FEED by 2Q 2013 and competitively bid FEED and EPC stages FLNG Tamar FLNG being evaluated – 3.4 MMtpa capacity, target start-up ~2018 Leviathan FLNG – preparations underway to commence pre-FEED; provides alternative to onshore LNG Strategic Partner to Provide Additional Resources and Experience in Developing Export Project(s)

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 5:51:25 PM

Baris-Im an expert oily-man,qualified petroleum geologist and Im in the OIL&GAS INDUSTRY since 20yrs.I very well know my stuff. from a technical and engineering skills.I know the industry inside out and I have access to a fair bit of industry knowledge in that respect .I can prove you all but Im not allowed by the moderator to post any relevant links/official news releases/sensitive info.on to this board .Just a friendly advise ; please take off pink-colour glasses from your eyes.

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 5:06:55 PM

Baris-“Cyprus is very important to Noble .We are committed to move forward with our Cyprus finds.On monetising the Cyprus finds,we believe the best option is an LNG project.Noble require a partner with experience in marketing the gas, and are waiting on the government to declare LNG as official policy.,” the Noble boss said during a press briefing on the sidelines of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference held in Nicosia on April 10, 2013.

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 4:39:28 PM

Baris-Also yesterday, Anastasiades met with Noble CEO - Charles Davidson to discuss the subject of gas.NOBLE has reaffirmed its pledge to develop the [gas] reserves in the best possible manner. Also discussed were the [LNG] terminal and the company’s participation in it, as well as the participation of other companies and partners, with a view to making the most of the sale of the reserves within Cyprus’ EEZ.Cyprus has a head-start on the LNG project, having already chosen the site for the plant

Baris

4/19/2013 4:32:19 PM

Cemal Ahmet, I understand the advantages of the LNG that you have listed. I understand the advantages of the pipeline, which can be cheaper and quicker to build. Unlike you, though, I also understand that it is Israel's decision alone and not Nobel's, that Israel hasn't yet committed to an LNG, and that she hasn't yet ruled out the pipeline option, which will have the added bonus of being soft power for Israel to use over Turkey in the fragile ME. So I'm still saying anything is possible.

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 4:13:37 PM

The Arab-Israeli conflict is still continuing. The state of war is still very much alive between Israel, on one hand, and Syria and Lebanon on the other. There are no clearly defined maritime borders between Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. In addition to this, there is a chronic conflict between Turkey and the Greeks over Northern Cyprus.There are also some security issues involved. They may ultimately lead to genuine and lasting peace in the region-HOW ?

cemal ahmet

4/19/2013 3:43:24 PM

Baris-Geopolitically/Economically not viable,not a safe method-may face commercial challenges resulting from the decreasing international prices of gas and also internal political challenges which may result in the unavoidable disagreements.LNG projects is, the bigger, the better...scale is your friend.It makes it that much easier to convince customers who’re interested in buying for 25 years-the best option is an LNG project. Unlike a pipeline, an LNG plant offers flexibility of markets
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