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Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies

Why are tensions rising between Greece and Turkey in the Mediterranean?


12/22/2019 8:12:00 PM

Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads over territorial boundaries for decades, but things have heated up in recent weeks with a battle for undersea natural resources threatening a geopolitical collision at Europe's southern border.

Syria’s oil, gas and water – the Immiscible Solution to the War in Syria


10/22/2019 6:52:00 PM

In 2010, the energy sector contributed about 35% of export earnings and 20% of government revenue. The Oil & Gas Journal estimated Syria’s oil reserves at 2.5 billion barrels, as of January 1, 2015. These are located mostly in the east and northeast. Natural gas reserves are estimated at 241 billion cubic meters, located primarily in central Syria. Most of Syria’s crude oil is heavy (low gravity) and sour (high sulphur content), which requires a specific configuration of refineries to process. T

Stubborn Kurdish Petroleum Resources: Surveying Actual data and investigating the declared Numbers


10/22/2019 5:02:00 PM

The confusion over the Kurdish petroleum sector is related to a fundamental paradox which; the more petroleum industry developed and matured, the more financial crisis deepened and the population's living situation worsened. This reverse consequence is an unusual phenomenon neither to the people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) nor for the observers which it mainly stems from the lack in the transparency surrounding the industry. The KRI's Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has frequently

The Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Dispute: Opportunity in an Arbitration


8/26/2019 9:09:00 PM

Fatigue and frustration aside, U.S. focus and engagement in Iraq remains critical to the national- and energy-security interests of the United States and its allies. Iraq has increased its oil production by more than half since 2012, and is set to be the world’s third-largest oil producer by 2030. Its proven natural gas reserves are enough to meet, for example, Germany’s present demand for 40 years.

Why the Kurdistan region of Iraq is making a new start


7/19/2019 7:51:00 AM

After 16 years of upheaval in Iraq and five brutal years of war with the Islamic State terrorist group, a foe that imperiled all of humanity, we are embarking on a new journey toward building a stronger Kurdistan. The next four years will be a defining time for us, our neighbors and our allies in which we, the Kurdistan Regional Government, look past our recent traumas, consolidate our place in the region and secure a presence on the international stage. In short, we want to make a new start.

Why Iraq cannot act as a bridge between Iran and the US


7/14/2019 10:33:00 AM

The recent sharp increase in tension between Iran and the United States has prompted a flurry of reporting and commentary talking up the prospect of a military confrontation between the two powers.

What's behind US pressure on Iraq to become energy independent?


7/14/2019 10:04:00 AM

US push for Iraq's 'energy independence' aims to isolate Iran and take advantage of oil and gas reserves, analysts say.

Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Regional Destabilizer and the Quest for a Security Provider


5/25/2019 10:36:00 PM

The relatively newly-found natural gas reserves in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), coupled with the much more significant findings in Israel and Egypt generated over-excitement and disproportionate optimism regarding the economic future of the island, the prospects for a settlement to the Cyprus problem, and even regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. Alas, the findings created more challenges than opportunities. This piece deals with the developing regional instability due

The Eastern Mediterranean and the EU Parliamentary Election


5/3/2019 2:50:00 PM

The states of the Eastern Mediterranean should pay close attention to the upcoming European parliamentary election, as its outcome will influence geostrategic and economic developments in that region. Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will have a major role to play in strengthening Western relationships in the region for decades to come.

Is Trump preparing ‘Oil-price War’ after Trade War? US legislators threaten OPEC


2/28/2019 8:23:00 AM

The US congress will soon be considering legislation that would allow the US government to prosecute any OPEC member country it believes is fixing oil prices.International oil companies have voiced their concerns and opposition to the proposal while warning about possible retaliation if it passes successfully.

Turkey to start drilling for gas off Cyprus


2/28/2019 8:08:00 AM

The discovery of gas field in the eastern Mediterranean has led to claims from both the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government and Ankara, backing the breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration.

Expectations behind Oil review in 2019


1/17/2019 9:21:00 PM

The Brent crude futures curve flattened significantly in the last quarter of 2018 as oil prices slumped to $50s per barrel by end-year compared to four-year highs in early October of $86 per bbl, as US sanctions on Iran went into force. At the time of writing, the market remains in ‘contango’–where forward prices exceed spot price–on anticipation of supply glut or rising levels of inventories (crudes and products).

Khashoggi Rejiggers Middle East at a Horrible Cost


10/31/2018 5:00:00 PM

The death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul threatens to upend the fundaments of fault lines across the Middle East. The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul threatens to severely disrupt the US-Saudi alliance that holds together many of the Middle East’s fault lines.

Why Barham Salih's appointment as president is good news for Iraq


10/8/2018 9:20:00 PM

The new Iraqi president is a sophisticated and experienced personality who knows Iraq's complexities and shortcomings all too well

New Strategic Dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean


6/11/2018 9:36:00 PM

The region presents all the required attributes to function as a distinct sub-regional system in the 21st century’s international environment. The Eastern Mediterranean holds the interest of the great powers (the US, Russia, and China); it contains resolute regional actors that influence the sociopolitical orbit of the region (Israel, Egypt, and Turkey); and international diplomacy may create firm ties between states that go far beyond normative alliance arrangements and thus function as power m

The May 12 Parliamentary Election in Iraq Was Botched


6/8/2018 11:18:00 AM

Iraq has suffered its fair share of instability stemming from poor political leadership. Furthermore, this instability and poor leadership have made the country to agonize from endemic corruption, threats to national security, failure to provide basic services to citizens, and continued lack of economic development since the 2003 Iraqi War. The war-torn country held parliamentary elections on May 12 this year. Many saw the election as an opportunity to rebuild Iraq and change the focus to insti

Why Iraq’s election is a remarkable victory for democracy


5/22/2018 6:58:00 AM

On May 12, Iraq held its fourth national elections since 2003. More than 10 million people turned up at polling stations. Men and women alike voted freely — a rarity in the Middle East, and something that Iraqis can be proud of. Despite a lower turnout than was expected, voters leaned toward cross-sectarian lists rather than the ethnic or sect-based groupings that dominated previous elections.

Should the US Stay In Iraq or Pull Out?*


4/13/2018 1:40:00 PM

From the perspective of the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite militia, and indeed of the Iranian political elite, which finances the mouthpiece and gives the militia the opportunity to disseminate its ideas, the US created groups from which ISIS emerged to justify a renewed US military presence in Iraq.

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