Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
The discovery of hydrocarbons by Eastern Mediterranean countries that were previously thought to have no such natural resources is changing the geopolitics and economics of the region in ways that are still evolving. This study focuses on the case of Cyprus. It examines the relevant developments from the legal, political and economic angles, with the aim of producing a primer for those who are interested in the Cyprus hydrocarbons issue and wish to understand its many different aspects.
First we outline recent natural gas discoveries in the region and assess the significance of finds offshore Cyprus. We then examine the legal framework of maritime delineation in the region, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS or the Convention) as well as the reasons why neighbouring Turkey objects to certain UNCLOS articles and therefore why it has not signed the Convention. In this context we also detail the maritime jurisdiction disputes in the region which relate to Cyprus, including the dispute between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea and the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Cyprus problem we give the historical and political background to the problem and particularly the dispute about sovereignty between the island’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. We then outline the positions on hydrocarbons exploration of various parties involved in the dispute: the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey (including the difference in Turkey’s stance between exploration in the south of the island and exploration west of the island), as well as the response of the international community. We explain that, while it is clear that the international community supports the right of the (de facto Greek Cypriot) Republic of Cyprus (RoC) to explore for oil and gas, it also has strong expectations that the hydrocarbons revenues be shared in the event of a solution to the Cyprus problem.
For Download full report please click here
Source: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)