August 25, 2011

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Epikaira article confirms that Papandreou was in secret talks with US + Israel over natural gas + oil

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The 25-08-2011 edition of "Epikaira” magazine (released today) confirmed reports that claimed Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held secret talks (and possibly even made agreements) with Israel and the US on the subject of the Cyprus-Israel energy venture as well as Greek oil and natural gas. According to the article, the topic of energy was the focus of discussions when Hillary Clinton came to Greece, contrary to all the reports from government officials at the time that claimed this wasn’t so. 
As citizens observed the government as it went about implementing law after law, austerity measure after austerity measure and cutback after cutback in the framework of deterring the economy from what it said was the threat of collapse, in a period when officials were screaming that it should have already made the proclamation of its EEZ, it seems that George Papandreou was holding secret talks (and God knows designing various investment opportunities) with the US and Israel officials on Greece’s EEZ with Cyprus and its own oil and natural gas.

The proclamation of Greece’s EEZ with Cyprus will launch procedures for identifying and exploiting suspected mineral deposits in the area of Greek interest, says the article. It adds that US President Barak Obama and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu are determined to support their interests in this region from all possible threats and even those of a possible “Casus Belli” from Turkey.

The article said that the main opposition New Democracy party agrees with this position as well as the placement of Greece in the energy game, which is already underway in the Eastern Mediterranean. This troubled me, because the former government of Costas Karamanlis was apparently toppled because it sided with Russia in the energy sector. I am curious to see what ND is supporting and why.

Returning to the article in Epikaira, it said that the second factor, which when combined with the first, will escalate the government in its plans, involve the tight energy cooperation between Cyprus and Israel. The completion of which, will also require a close cooperation with Greece.
A swift response from the US and Russia in favor of Cyprus to move ahead with its plans to drill for oil at the end of September within its EEZ and the disappoint of Washington and Moscow for similar initiatives by Turkey show that a new geopolitical map is surfacing in this part of the Mediterranean which has historical significance for Greece.

But if Greece is inactive and this map begins to fade in its glory then this would be an inexcusable negligence on the part of the Greek government with national and consequences and severe repurcissions to our economy.

According to Epikaira, George Papandreou had discussed the issue with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent visit to Greece, but also with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course all reports from government sources at the time were denied, as have many other reports over the past two years. (Nonetheless… hellasfrappe (which has been screaming for over six months now and noting that the debt crisis was designed on account of its natural gas and oil)  had published a special report on this very issue last month. Please refer to the article in question by clicking here.

The article said that the declaration of the Exclusive Economic Zone between Greece and Cyprus will merge the marine economic and energy territory all way down to Israel. The next logical step would be the creation of a pipeline that will carry Cypriot, Israeli and later on Greek natural gas to the markets of Western Europe.

So what are the agreements?

Well, the Israeli company Delek US agreed with Noble on all terms to participate in the drilling to be held in plot 12 of the Cyprus EEZ. Delek said it signed an agreement with Noble Cyprus, and Avner Oil and Gas Ltd on research activities in plot 12. In its statement it added that Cyprus could decide whether to allow the participation of Delek and Avner surveys to be conducted until August 1, 2013.

Under the agreement, Delek and Avner will undertake 15% of the costs that Noble will make in order to conduct the research including the mining, the evaluation, the development and even the production. Moreover, by 1 August 2013, Delek Drilling Management and Avner Oil and Gas are entitled to transfer their rights under the Agreement to any third party, which will be accepted by Noble, but will also be approved by Cypriot authorities.

If the Republic of Cyprus does not approve the participation of both companies and Noble announces that it has found resources in plot 12, then they are entitled to reimbursement of their investment which was contributed to the cooperative by Noble, says the agreement.

Furthermore, by approval by the Cypriot government, the two companies will have no access to information related to the plot 12, which will be termed as confidential.

After all the Cairn Energy Corporation, the largest organization of its sort, is interested in expanding its research activities in Cyprus’ energy sector, said the Financial Times in one report while quoting the corporation’s half-year results.

In a separate article on this very subject that was featured on hellasfrappe earlier this summer, Isome views from an article that was written by Aristotle Vassilakis were translated which appeared on the website. He said that the "Greek crisis" was “fixed” because the overall stakes are the oil and gas in the Aegean.

According to him, surveys already done that have measured the amount of natural gas estimate it to reach some nine trillion dollars. The suitors, however, are many and everyone wants a piece of the action. Unfortunately Greece is lying in a gutter because of all of this, and from the consequences of the so called “debt crisis”, while the Trans-Atlantic Protector requires that we open the doors of our country to Turkey so that it too can benefit from this treasure in the depths of OUR SEA.

“This is how I believe all pending issues concerning Greece will get resolved such as the subject of the continental shelf, (expansion of our territorial waters) and other related issues, and a possible casus belli will also end ...,” says Vassilakis.

He adds that the formula for the pooling of oil has been found. According to him, some 20% of revenues are to be given to Greece, a further 20% to Turkey and 60% will be directed to a US consortium, which together with Greek ship-owners, will undertake the extraction of the oil.

Ankara and Washington can disagree on Iraq, Iran, Israel, or even on business in Central Asia, however, they are in full agreement on the issue of the Aegean and especially on the price that Greece "ought" to pay.

Washington, according to him, has proposed that the Aegean be split in three, while Ankara has already shown us which part it wants with its bullying. It remains to be seen what Athens’ stance is on all this, what is it planning to do, how does it plan to manage these possible scenarios in the Aegean?

The gist of it all folks is not the Greek-Turkish dispute, but a profound energy game that involves Americans, Russians and Europeans and now Turkey, who decided to join the fun with large claims.

The Cold War is now in the distant past. Today, the debate focuses on energy and in particular, the prevention of a possible energy cooperation between Europe and Russia. On account of Greece’s geopolitical position… the Aegean is unfortunately caught up in this ongoing controversy.

The brutal intent of US officials to want to divide the Aegean in three parts, says Vassilakis, all in the name of black gold comes at a time when the country has totally kneeled economically.

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