The Eastern Mediterranean is facing a new era of rapidly economic growth, mainly due to the discoveries of world class hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Levant basin. Wells and boreholes indicate high quality gas trapped in lower Miocene sandstones at water depths over 1500 m. The estimated amount of gas in place for these fields is outstanding with ~850 km3. These giant hydrocarbon reservoirs were considered, at the time of their finding, the largest of the last decade, thus bringing the Eastern Mediterranean into the limelight.
The region is set to undergo significant changes that could transform it into an important province for natural gas export. The increasing number of offshore constructions in relation to the development of these hydrocarbon reservoirs requires comprehensive and detailed geological, environmental and archeological surveys for hazard assessment, risk mitigation and conservation of the regions historical and archaeological heritage. Major challenges are faced when trying to tackle these issues in the Eastern Mediterranean, while taking into account current geopolitics, continuing conflicts and financial instability of some of the neighboring countries. Therefore, a comprehensive trans-border interdisciplinary approach is needed in order to provide answers for the globalization of environmental stresses in a human dimension. Only joint forces based on respect and understanding will provide a proper podium for solving mutual scientific queries and problems through an interdisciplinary outlook.
The 2010 oil spill and gas leakage in the Gulf of Mexico serve as an alert for the need of achieving comprehensive interdisciplinary studies to prevent the possible occurrence of such a catastrophe in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, the strategy consists of providing a podium in which scientists of neighboring countries will be able to discuss scientific issues regarding the broad Marine Sciences discipline in a comfortable ambience, far from regional conflicts and geopolitics. Development of the Eastern Mediterranean hydrocarbon reservoirs requires comprehensive and detailed geological, environmental and archeological surveys for hazard assessment, risk mitigation and conservation of the regional historical heritage, in an interdisciplinary and trans-boundary approach.
The event will provide solid grounds for fostering new networks and strengthening mutual collaboration through third party countries. A one day cruise and associated fieldtrip to a selected site of both cultural and natural interest for the entire group will be carried out and will provide an indiscernible and comfortable atmosphere for fostering new collaborative links.