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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

US increases its Mediterranean naval presence as ExxonMobil begins Cyprus gas exploration

Meanwhile, the East Mediterranean looks to be heating up, as the world reacts to Turkey’s bullying. The US has upped its naval presence in the Mediterranean as ExxonMobil dispatched drilling ships to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Sputnik reports. ExxonMobil is operating on a contract with Cyprus and Qatar Petroleum to explore for energy reserves off the Cypriot coast. The US “bolstering its presence in the region” comes after the Turkish military blocked drilling efforts in Cyprus’ portion of the EEZ twice last month. Cyprus lodged a formal protest with the UN against Turkey for its “repeated violations” and attempts at “undermining [Cypriot] sovereignty.” Turkey’s aggression came just as reports emerged that Egypt and Cyprus are nearing an agreement on establishing a natural gas pipeline, which could well turn Egypt into the export hub for East Mediterranean gas.

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