The Cyprus-Noble Energy Connection
Written by: Daniel Dicker
Tickers in this article: NBL
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I spoke this morning with Jim Cramer about the nexus between the Cyprus bank bailout deal and the natural gas and oil development in the western Mediterranean being led by Noble Energy(NBL) . I believe there are some places where these two seemingly unconnected events meet. First, some reconnaissance: Since 2010, Noble Energy has been on the front line in exploring the massive Levant basin, including large potential deepwater fields located in both Israeli and Cypriot waters. At every turn, enthusiasm has grown as the proven reserves have blown out even the best hopes of estimated reserves for natural gas. It is now thought that the many fields inside the Levant basin could change the natural gas supply dynamic in the entire Western Mediterranean, including both Greece and Italy. That matters because Eastern Europe has been forced to depend exclusively on very undependable Russian gas supplies, which have been periodically cut by the Russians dependent upon prices and their own national demand, as well as their national interest. But the now-nearly ready supply from the Leviathan and Tamar fields might begin to break that Russian hegemony. The Tamar field will begin production in April, promising more than a 1 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, a small but important start. One way to think about how game-changing these new fields will be in the geopolitics of the region is through the prism of the Cypriot bank bailout deal. It is not a long stretch to think that this one-off deal that delivers a 10% haircut to Russian commodity oligarchs with deposits in Cyprus was easier to propose, given the fact the Russians will no longer entirely control the spigot to fuel in the Western Mediterranean. It is an interesting idea. I discuss more in the video above. At the time of publication the author had a position in NBL. Follow @dan_dicker This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.