30 Aralık 2011 Cuma

Turkey Approves Russian Gas Plan


MOSCOW—Russia secured approval from Turkey on Wednesday to build the South Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea, removing the last major obstacle to proceed with a project that could increase Europe's dependence on Russian natural-gas supplies.
The move heats up the battle between Russia and the European Union over competing pipelines, especially the European Union-backed Nabucco project, and increases pressure on Ukraine to give Moscow control of its pipeline system.
Turkey's approval, given by Energy Minister Taner Tildiz during talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday, had been a stumbling point for Russia to proceed with the offshore part of the South Stream project.
Russian state gas giant OAO Gazprom ships most of its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine, but supply disruptions in recent years due to pricing disagreements between the two countries have led Russia to seek to bypass Ukraine and promote new pipelines such as South Stream.

23 Aralık 2011 Cuma

"Substantial" Cyprus Gas Find Rumoured

 Natural Gas Europe

A "substantial" gas find has been made in Block 12 in the offshore area of Cyprus, several unsubstantiated reports have said.

The rumoured gas find relates to an area currently under licence to Noble Energy Inc in the Cypriot portion of the Mediterranean Sea. Cypriot newspaper Politis has reported that the find is equal to or larger than that found by Noble in the nearby Israeli Leviathan field, which would exceed Noble's initial estimates of 9 trillion cubic feet of gas in Block 12. The newspaper does not name its sources for the story but says that these sources are "reliable".

On Tuesday, Noble increased its estimate for the total gas reserves in the Leviathan field from 16 trillion cubic feet to at least 17 trillion cubic feet and up to 20 trillion cubic feet.

"The reservoir thickness and quality were greater than anticipated," the company said in a statement.
Separately, Israeli news organisation Globes has said that results from the Cypriot Block are imminent. Globes also cite sources who say that the block is likely to contain 8 trillion cubic feet or higher, making it larger than the Israeli Tamar field. Another Cypriot news site, Philenews, has reported that the gas reserves may total up to 13 trillion cubic feet.

Ankara sees Iran hand in Iraq tensions

Serkan Demirtaş     Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey believes Tehran is behind the Iraqi PM’s recent challenge to Vice President al-Hashimi as it hopes to protect its regional hegemony in the wake of an international campaign against its closest regional ally, Syria. 

An Iraqi political crisis stemming from the Shiite prime minister’s move against the Sunni vice president has rung alarm bells in Ankara, which believes Iran is orchestrating the events to protect its regional hegemony.

Although already deeply involved in the turmoil in Syria, Turkish diplomats have now placed Iraq at the top of their agenda out of fears that instability in its southeastern neighbor could endanger its political and security interests in the region.

A day after the last U.S. soldier was withdrawn from Iraq earlier this week, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, potentially igniting a fresh conflict between the country’s two largest sectarian groups. The move caused concerns in neighboring countries and the United States about regional stability in the Middle East, which has already been shaken by developments in Syria.

1 Aralık 2011 Perşembe

Turkey says will support Azerbaijan gas transit pipeline proposal


Turkey would support a proposal for a pipeline to carry gas from the second phase of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field to Europe, a spokesman for the energy ministry said Monday.

The proposed pipeline would be in competition with the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline project.

The pipeline proposal was announced Thursday in Istanbul by Rovnag Abdullyev, president of Azeri state oil and gas company Socar, as the Anatolian Transit Gas Pipeline Project. He gave no further details.

The spokesman explained that Turkey and Azerbaijan were working together to develop the proposed pipeline but that no definite decisions had been taken on where the line will start and end or on what the capacity will be.

Broadly it will run from Turkey's eastern border to its western one, and will carry 16 billion cubic meters/year of Shah Deniz gas which Azerbaijan has agreed to export to Turkey and Europe, he said. It could utilize existing sections of Turkey's main east-west transit line in addition to the newly constructed line, he added.

Turkey in the 2011 Annual Arab Public Opinion Survey

Kerim Rached   JTV

On November 21, Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, released the results of the 2011 Annual Arab Public Opinion Survey conducted in October.

A total of 3,000 people from various cities across Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates were polled regarding numerous aspects of some of the most contentious issues in the region today, including the Arab Spring, Obama administration, Arab-Israeli conflict, Egyptian elections, national and religious identity, media access, and Iran. While the results of public opinion polls or surveys cannot quite be used in any sort of conclusive statement regarding what’s to come, they do help provide a picture of social and political trends as well as perceptions in a given region, which is ultimately useful in its own right.

Turkey Increases Pressure on Syria Over Oppression

Sebnem ARSU    The New York Times

ISTANBUL — Turkish officials continued Tuesday to step up pressure on Syria, saying they would consider having their military cross the border to impose a safety zone if the Assad government failed to stop killing citizens demanding democratic change.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday that his government was hopeful that an incursion would be unnecessary and that Syria would respond to sanctions imposed Sunday by the Arab League. But the Syrian government has shown no willingness to abide by its neighbors’ demands, declaring the Arab League move “economic war.”
In a television interview broadcast on Kanal 24, a private network, Mr. Davutoglu said, “Despite all, if oppression continued, Turkey remains ready for all possible scenarios,” including creating a buffer zone. He said it would be established in coordination with the international community to offer large groups of Syrians protection from violence along borders with Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

Eurocopter Joins Turkey's Light Helicopter Race

Umit ENGİNSOY & Burak Ege BEKDİL   Defense News

ANKARA - Top European helicopter maker Eurocopter announced Wednesday that it will seek to become Turkey's key foreign partner in a program, worth more than $1 billion, to design, develop and manufacture hundreds of light utility helicopters, both military and civilian.

"We want to partner with Turkey in one of their top programs. The light utility helicopter program is a key project," said Thomas Hein, Eurocopter's vice president for sales and customer relations in Europe.

Light utility helicopters generally weigh between 4,500 and 5,500 kilograms. "We are developing our product range, and we would like to produce, with Turkey, a chopper from scratch," Hein said.

Under two multibillion-dollar contracts, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is co-producing with Italy's AgustaWestland 59 T-129 attack helicopters and jointly is making with Sikorsky Aircraft more than 100 T-70 utility helicopters, with a single copter weighing about 10,000 kilograms. To meet its heavy-lift helicopter needs, Ankara earlier this year signed a nearly $400 million contract with Boeing to buy six CH-47 Chinook choppers.