The Eastern Mediterranean is a region and basin brimming with untapped potential. Whichever way you look into the region there are gas reserves yet to be monetized and under-utilised LNG terminals. The potential might not be huge in global energy terms but its definitely sizeable and substantial for the regional governments to get on track into a regional plan.

However, it has been increasingly frustrating to regional stakeholders and especially the governments that even the presence of supermajors like Chevron, BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies hasn’t been enough to fully unlock that potential.

But why is that? Why haven’t these behemoths been able to find a way to monetize these assets to at least near their full potential in a way that can benefit the region and the host countries despite their vast industry experience and deep pockets? The answer isn’t so easy and it’s not always visible.

Corporate structure and regional resource management can often mean that regions like the East Med can remain relatively neglected or undervalued by these large corporate entities given their portfolio metrics, agendas, as well as capital, time, risk and other considerations. This results in a dynamic where local teams heading East Med divisions of such supermajors often temper their ambitions and settle for working to maintain the status quo. In “rocking the boat” these teams fear the risk of losing their credibility and perhaps relevance within the larger corporate structure if they are championing projects in the East Med that can’t adequately justify capital and efforts relative to other projects under consideration in the global scheme of things.

Supermajors have for years been preaching about capital conservation so any plans that might involve delving deeper into their pockets will always face severe scrutiny especially if it’s within a region as geopolitically complex as the East Med. Especially now, the geopolitical backdrop warrants prudence and acts as what some may deem as an excuse to hold back, further frustrating relations with regional governments despite stakeholders pushing for progress.

At the end of the day it’s right for the supermajors to be protective of shareholder value but it’s also right for governments and regional stakeholders to push for progress. This power-struggle in vying for capital and attention needs to be solved for progress to be empowered but from what we have seen so far maybe a new approach is required.

And that’s where Cynergy comes in. We haven’t just turned up out of the blue. Cynergy has been around since 2013 and has engaged behind the scenes with the region’s governments and key stakeholders, waiting for the right moment to lead an initiative that could raise the prospects of developing assets into a consolidated, rationalized and integrated value-chain further commercializing assets to the full potential of the East Med’s profile as a region of potential on energy and strategic collaboration.

Maps included Key East Med Gas Assets & Infrastructure

Key East Med Gas Assets & Infrastructure


The uncertainty that has been caused by the ongoing conflict in Gaza since 7 October last year actually highlights the need for a solution like Cynergy to come to the fore in a way that can work outside of the restrictions of corporate structure of a supermajor or the debilitating bureaucracy of a regional government. From our perspective at Cynergy the in-region situation was going to come to its crunch time and need a potential game-changer solution to add an entrepreneurial element in order to take this forward.

In our mind as Cynergy this was the thesis – to become a value-adding entrepreneurial yet regional savvy and strategic partner to the situation. Helping to bring solutions to the table that might be out of reach for current incumbent players.

While the conflict may not have instigated the current impasse we see in developing certain assets in the region it has highlighted them and provides the perfect platform for Cynergy to prove it can succeed where others have not quite succeeded yet. We have all the respect for the supermajors and governments of the region. They have done a great job of getting gas discovered and flowing it at least to some extent.

That’s all been great. No one doubts the prowess and capital of supermajors and certain sovereign funds. If they focused on the East Med and were not precluded by timing issues, ways of working and focus on global portfolios then the likeliest scenario is that the region would have been developed and a need for a potential Cynergy solution would not be required. However – there is an increasing feeling across stakeholders that maybe it’s time to try something new given things are not working to their full potential and some situations are getting increasingly strenuous and needing solutions.

So in Cynergy’s mind it’s not that supermajors and governments couldn’t drive a solution forward. It’s that they have other considerations precluding them from the focus, commitment and approach needed and Cynergy wants to be as useful and as “value adding” a partner as possible in attempting to unlock a better solution.


Chevron came into the region in 2020, following its $5bn takeover of compatriot Noble, with the best intentions but recent events have shown that it may have gotten more than it bargained for. Talks with Nicosia regarding development of the 3.5tcf Aphrodite, discovered in 2011, appear to have hit a roadblock as the US major continues to buy for time with a 31 March deadline looming.

Next door in Israel, just 30km away, Chevron is also faced with a conundrum – how to expand output at the 23tcf Leviathan field. The options in front of it appear problematic to say the least but if a solution can be brought to the table that addresses these issues and provides both Israel and Cyprus with a win, isn’t that something worth considering?

The region is as sensitive as could be and we are very guarded to come to ideal plans together with stakeholders, but to give some color essentially the approach of Cynergy is ultimately to consider how best to combine Leviathan and Aphrodite gas and reconsider development options with a fresh approach thinking of short to mid-term usage of Egyptian LNG terminals whilst also pursuing mid to longer term development of Cypriot infrastructure needed to develop as full regional export optionality as possible.

There is no real news to such a plan. Initial ideas of integrating Aphrodite-Leviathan developments into LNG plans were tabled to the Cyprus government as far back as 2013, although the administration at the time decided to go in another direction. That direction led it nowhere for more than a decade until the new president and energy minister decided to reconsider it last year.

Unfortunately there has been no substantial progress since the Cyprus Gateway summit last year where Energy Minister Papanastsiou presented the plan. Chevron and Israel’s NewMed Energy, which is a 30% partner at Aphrodite and the major stakeholder at Leviathan with 45.34%, continue to show a reticence to even consider piping gas back to Cyprus.

But things change. The region is undergoing a seismic shift and how energy collaborations look as a result will come down to multiple factors being decided right now regionally given the geopolitical entanglements yet to play out.

But what if there was a vehicle that could bring investors to the table and line-up offtakers for any potential LNG exports? That’s what Cynergy proposes. What if the Cynergy proposition gives Cyprus, Israel and Egypt for that matter some commercial construct they can get on board with and what if after open minded joint planning the supermajors could find their way to like such a plan?

There are many ifs buts and maybes but unless we get into the room to ascertain a joint end-game will we ever really know what could take shape? What’s the downside of taking a fresh look at the region’s potential when adding a Cynergy solution to the mix? Given what’s happening and not happening it might be a time-window to consider a new way forward.

The Cynergy plan is not an attempt to reinvent the wheel, we’re urging a renewed discussion to pool our combined capabilities together. It’s about revisiting a plan with a proven foundation and adapting it to the current geopolitical climate.


As such, I want to extend an open invitation to stakeholders for a roundtable discussion. The objective is to examine Cynergy’s approach, which shows that if the fields took the right monetization path, they could provide extended significant value to the governments in question.

It could even play a significant role for the EU in its bid to diversify gas supplies in the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. At the end of the day with energy security dynamics as they are why not have the East Med as a region plug a gap in EU energy security/LNG needs? It seems a missed opportunity to have excess gas on the EU’s doorstep and not have the alignment needed to develop it.

From my perspective as founder of Cynergy I’d take this chance to put a call to action. A call to action, to progress, and to a future where the East Med’s energy potential is fully realized, not just for the benefit of one nation but for the prosperity and stability of the entire region.

*Mike Germanos is founder and CEO of Cynergy East Med LLC and the Cynergy group since 2013.