Leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel are planning to sign an agreement early in the new year for the construction of a new natural gas pipeline. In Athens on January 2nd, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will meet to sign the agreement. The deal will be finalized at a later date dependent on Italy’s signature, they have already expressed displeasure with the project earlier this year. The pipeline will transverse the Mediterranean from the Levantine Basin offshore gas reserve of Israel, to the Greek Island of Crete and the Greek Mainland, then to Italy. The EastMed Pipeline project has an estimated completion date of 2025.
With the Iran sanctions looming, international oil markets are looking for alternative crude suppliers. The United States and the European Union (EU) as well as many others, have initially turned to Saudi Arabia. However, there is uncertainty of the Saudi’s ability to fill in the production gaps given the recent turmoil over a murdered Saudi Arabian journalist. One source of additional crude production available is Russia, according to Igor Sechin, the Chief Executive of Russian oil major Rosneft.
Like an aging New Waver desperately holding onto an outdated Flock of Seagulls haircut, the European Union is straining to maintain their part of the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal. After President Trump made his announcement that the United States would be pulling out of the deal, European Union member nations decided to remain in the agreement and stated that they would continue doing business with Iran. In practice however, many European companies are winding down and severing their business deals with Iran.