Israel and Lebanon both claim a sea area estimated to contain large quantities of natural gas. The US is mediating in the dispute.
Yesterday, Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz met US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs David Satterfield and was updated on his recent talks with Lebanon concerning its maritime border with Israel. Steinitz agreed to talks between Israel and Lebanon, with US mediation, with the aim of drawing an agreed maritime border that will enable both countries to develop gas and oil reservoirs adjacent to it.
The two countries are in dispute over an area of 860 square kilometers, mainly in the region of Block 9. This area is estimated to hold large quantities of gas, similar to those of Israel's Tamar reservoir, and both countries claim ownership of it.
Lebanon has already awarded exploration licenses in Block 9 to a consortium of companies that includes Total of France, Eni of Italy, and Novatek of Russia. Israel has awarded a license in the disputed zone to Delek Drilling and Noble Energy. For the time being, neither side is active in the area.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 28, 2019
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Gas exploration near Lebanon in 2013 photo: Mohammed Azakir, Reuters