As Cyprus ramps up its own energy exploration, and hopes prevail of an Israel-Turkey pipeline, there is growing optimism that natural gas will help finally unify the divided island.
By Keith Johnson
The emerging energy boom in the eastern Mediterranean could be just what’s needed to finally reunify Cyprus after the island has spent more than 40 years bitterly divided between a Greek south and a Turkish north.
The discovery in recent years of natural gas fields in waters belonging to Egypt, Israel, and even Lebanon has galvanized the attention and investment of energy companies, including big ones from Europe and the United States. On Wednesday, Cyprus itself took a big step toward realizing its own energy promise, announcing that a spate of major-league players, including ExxonMobil of the United States, Total of France, and Eni of Italy, have bid to drill for gas off the southern coast of the divided island.