2018 has been a year of continued change and deepening instability in the wider region of South East Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. The war in Syria continues, the US renewed its sanctions on Iran and withdrew from the international agreement that regulated its nuclear program, an event that has had significant effects on global oil prices. At the same time despite efforts to diversify away from Russia, Gazprom’s exports are hitting record highs and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline seems to be progressing.
As Turkey’s relations with the EU grew slightly colder over 2018, including France and Austria, calling for an end to its accession talks, Ankara has been hit hard by US sanctions on its steel and aluminum exports. At the same time Greece’s efforts to resolve its long-standing name dispute with FYROM and the possibility of talks between Serbia and Kosovo on the redrawing of their borders could either stabilize or destabilize Southeastern Europe at a time when long-term energy projects are reaching maturity.
In the Eastern Mediterranean exploration continues led by Exxon and Total as new alliances, shape to help Nicosia emerge as an important exporter of natural gas to the EU. An intergovernmental agreement on the construction of a pipeline connecting the Aphrodite field with the regasification facility of Idku in Egypt, is the first but very important step down this road as the East Med Gas Pipeline project is becoming, with the support of the European Commission, increasingly competitive.
For Greece, 2018 has been a year of hope as the country exited from its formal austerity program. The energy sector, a prospective engine for development, is advancing at a steady pace especially in the electricity and gas retail markets. The participation of RES in national electricity production has increased. An energy exchange in the ASE was founded and the country’s interconnectivity is set to improve over the next years with the eventual completion of TAP, IGB and the much-needed expansion of the national electricity network connecting the mainland to the islands.
Conference Topics 2019
The Global & Regional Geopolitical Perspectives
Update on Regional Upstream Developments
Update on Regional midstream Developments: Exporting Gas from the Eastern Med Industry & Policy Perspectives
Renewable Energy Sources & Energy Efficiency
The Retail Gas and Electricity Markets Shake up
Energy Consumption, CO2 Emissions, and Economic Growth
Updates on the Privatization Agenda