Developments in the Gas Equity of Europe after EastMed and Ukraine Crises

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After the declaration of the United States of America (US) on withdrawal from the EastMed Project and Ukraine Crisis, it was discussed on the alternative projects, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will supply Europe’s gas need and decrease the dependency on energy of Russia.

The reasons of the US for the withdrawal from the EastMed Project, that she did not contribute financially, is the incline towards eco-friendly resources as the European Union (EU) did. In the article published by the Spokesman of the Greek Embassy of the US,[1] it was mentioned that EastMed energy is adhered to physically connect to Europe; however, it was claimed that the country’s focus point is both natural gas and interconnected electricity projects, which supports renewable energy resources. According to some resources, the real reason why Joe Biden administration is against the EastMed Project, is about accelerating the transformation to renewable energy resources.

From the end of 2021, except the current investments, it was predicted that it will shall not be invested in fossil fuels, in the Trans European Energy Network (TEN-E) in accordance with the EU’s “European Green Deal,” which aims making the Europe as a climate-neutral continent until 2050.[2] In the document published by International Energy Agency named “Net Zero (Greenhouse Gas Emission)-Roadmap for Global Energy Sector”, it was claimed that until 2050, new petroleum and natural gas areas are not needed until 2050, and from the end of 2021, it is claimed that it will not be invested in natural gas underground.[3]

Even LNG is accepted as a fossil fuel, it is the most eco-friendly one and it was evaluated as a perfect alternative that contributes to reduction of greenhouse gas and struggle against global warming.[4] Therefore, LNG stands out in the struggle against climate change instead of natural gas, which was accepted as real fossil fuel.

Since the environment anxiety is not solely belong to the EU, but also Israel, the memorandum signed in 2020, that transfers the petroleum between the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea to Ashkelon through Eliat from the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Abu Dhabi.[5] However, that initiative was not realized due to concerns about security and environmental risks of carrying the petroleum with tanks to Eliat.[6] Against the cancellation of the agreement, the UAE is working on an alternative plan which passes through Egyptian territories. According to the plan, it was considered that the pipeline will pass the Sinai Peninsula parallel with existing pipeline underground in Egypt.[7]

Another development in the Eastern Mediterranean is the practice of transferring LNG to the European countries the US and Qatar, which is the third biggest natural gas producer and first LNG exporter in the world after Russia and Iran. In this context, it is tried to eliminate the problems caused by the natural gas cut that may be encountered due to the sanctions to be applied in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which meets one third of Europe’s natural gas needs.[8] Besides the US is supporting the liquefaction plants as in the Alexandroupoli Port of Greece.


If we put brackets about the situation in Alexandroupoli, it can be said that the bases built in the region in the context of mutual defense cooperation agreement of the US and Greece, importance of the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Storage and Gasification Units (FSRU), is increased. It is planned that Gasified LNG would be transferred to Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, even to Moldova and Ukraine, from the end of 2023, with connecting the national grid with 28 kilometers line.[9]

In the sense of developments in the Guld Countries, in 2017, after a month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt decided suspending diplomatic relations Qatar has decided in the next 5-7 years, she will increase her LNG production with 30%, from 77 billion tons to 100 billion tons.[10] Doha administration, that supplies the one third of the British natural gas need, and Poland’s need with the US, is the leading country exporting LNG with Australia and the US. The US is also planning to be stand out in this placement with latest acts and stone gas stocks. In the latest period that environmental sensitivity has increased about the natural gas, Qatar wants to consume the current reserves without the demand decreases, by developing natural gas production. It is definite that, this is a normal choice.

Another alternative for the US is Egypt, that supplies the domestic market’s need from the gas of Zohr and Noor. In addition, another choice stands out, which is the liquefication of the rest and transferred to Europe as LNG.

Another option is the Turkish-Israel pipeline that will be built after the US has withdrawn its support to EastMed and normalization of the relations between Ankara-Tel Aviv. Another possibility is that the pipeline project that will pass from Egypt to Greece, and to the EU countries.[11]

Apart from the Eastern Mediterranean and EastMed, another project that should be mentioned regarding the EU’s energy needs is the Nord Stream 2 Project, which the USA threatened to stop its opening within the scope of the sanctions to be applied in case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.[12] An annual transfer of 55 billion cubic meters[13] of natural gas is envisaged through the pipeline, which costs 11 billion dollars to Berlin, which did not step back despite the opposition of the USA and environmentalists, and which, after leaving Russia, bypassed Ukraine and crossed the Baltic Sea and reached Germany. Completed in September of 2021; however, the blocking of the project, for which Gazprom is still waiting for approval, within the scope of possible sanctions to be applied to Russia, may put Germany in a big trouble in terms of energy.

As a result, the Ukraine Crisis, which is considered to contribute to the rise of the USA as an important natural gas supplier in order to provide alternative energies to Europe, should be read with different dimensions in terms of energy.

The foreign policy objective of the USA in the European natural gas market is not only to reduce the dependence of Europe, which is its ally, on Russian natural gas; it can also be interpreted as a plan to dominate the European market as a major natural gas exporter.[14] However, it can be foreseen that it will be difficult for the USA at this stage to prevent the Nord Stream 2 Project, which has invested heavily and is in its final stage. Because the natural gas that will come through pipelines from Norway, the Netherlands, England and Denmark will not be enough to meet the needs of the German economy, which will grow even more in the post-pandemic period. The issue that will remain on the agenda for Europe in the coming period will be the choice between the political cost of Russian dominance in the European gas market and the financial cost of US LNG, which may be more costly than Russia’s offer.

[1] “Statement on East Med Energy Cooperation”, U.S. Embassy&Consulate in Greece,, (Date of Accession: 27.01.2022).

[2] “Revision of the TEN-E Regulation EU Guidelines for New Energy Infrastructure”, European Parliament,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[3] “Net Zero by 2050 A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector”, International Energy Agency,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[4] “LNG: An Energy of the Future”, Elengy,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[5] “Agreement Signed to Operate Israel Pipeine for UAE oil”, Globes,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[6] “Israeli Ministry Blocks UAE Pipeline Deal Citing Risk to Red Sea”, Reuters, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[7] “UAE Preparing Egyptian Alternative to Israeli Pipeline Project”, Globes,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[8] “US in Talks with Qatar over Supplying LNG to EU: Reports”, Aljazeera,, (Date of Accession: 28.01.2022).

[9] “US Envoy Welcomes Milestone in Alexandroupoli LNG Station Project”, Ekathimerini,, (Date of Accession: 29.01.2022).

[10] “Qatar’s Gas Expansion|Counting the Cost”, Youtube,, (Date of Accession: 29.01.2022).

[11] “EastMed: Turkey’s Two-Pipeline Scenario’s and Electric Cable”, Greek City Times,, (Date of Accession: 30.01.2022).

[12] “Ukraine Crisis: Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Could be Axed, US Warns”, BBC,, (Date of Accession: 30.01.2022).

[13] “Nord Stream 2: How Does the Pipeline Fit into Ukraine-Russia Crisis?”, BBC,, (Date of Accession: 30.01.2022).

[14] Efe Sıvış, “ABD’nin Avrupa Enerji Pazarına Yönelik İzlediği Dış Politika: Kaya Gazı Devrimi ve Avrupa Pazarında Rus Hâkimiyetine Karşı LNG Hamlesi”, İnsan ve Toplum Bilimleri Araştırma Dergisi, 2019, 8(3), s. 2181.

Emekli Deniz Albay Ferhan ORAL
1972 yılında Denizli’de doğdu. 1994 yılında Deniz Harp Okulundan mezun oldu. 24 yıllık meslek hayatı süresince değişik denizaltı gemileri ve karargah görevlerinde çalıştı. Çalıştığı karargah görevleri arasında, Bosna-Hersek AB Gücü Sivil-Asker İşbirliği Başkanlığı, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Plan Prensipler Başkanlığı, Avrupa Müttefik Kuvvetleri Yüksek Karargahı (SHAPE) Harekat-İstihbarat Başkanlığı ve Çok Uluslu Deniz Güvenliği Mükemmeliyet Merkezi yer almaktadır. Sosyoloji ve Denizcilikte Emniyet, Güvenlik ve Çevre Yönetimi alanlarında yüksek lisans sahibi olup, halen Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Denizcilik Fakültesinde Denizcilikte Emniyet, Güvenlik ve Çevre Yönetimi alanındaki doktora eğitimine devam etmektedir. Ulusal hakemli dergilerde yayınlanmış üç makalesi bulunmaktadır. Deniz güvenliği ve NATO konuları araştırma ve çalışma alanları arasında olup İngilizce ve temel seviyede Fransızca bilmektedir.