NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Jim Cramer Wednesday about Ukrainian tensions and the grip the Russians hold on natural gas supplies, not only to the Ukrainian Republic but also to Europe itself. Two-thirds of all the natural gas that the European Union uses comes from Russia, and a majority of that gas runs through pipelines in Ukraine.
It is this deep reliance on the Russian energy supply that can be used to such great effect by Russia in reestablishing a favorable government in Kiev, but also gives the Europeans pause in trying to intervene on behalf of the new Ukrainian government.
The threat of a slowdown in Russian natural gas supply is an incentive used often on the EU, particularly recently when a massive cold snap held Europe in its grip late in 2012, and more recently in the EU bailout of Cypriot banks in the spring of 2013. When energy supplies are at stake, sometimes morality can take a back seat.
But there is a developing alternative source of energy on the horizon for Eastern Europe nations almost entirely reliant on Russia: the Leviathan field in the Mediterranean off of the coasts of Israel and Cyprus. Because this find has had a very slow development trajectory, the market has been equally slow to recognize the geopolitical importance of this find. Noble Energy (NBL) is the dominant partner in the development of Leviathan.
The markets for Leviathan natural gas and oil could not be needier, and the crisis in Ukraine shows just how vulnerable Eastern Europe and specifically Turkey, Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries are. But with the value of Leviathan still slipping under the radar, shares of Noble remain unrewarded for this game changer.