Lebanon/Israel investigating location of Natural Gas worth $15 B
Last week, our government was looking into whether a natural gas find which Noble Energy said it discovered off Israel’s Mediterranean coast also fell under Lebanese waters. A charge Israel denied.
A U.S.-Israeli exploration group said last week it had found large amounts of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean that are expected to meet demands for well over a decade.
Led by Noble Energy, the group said it found natural gas of more than 3 trillion cubic feet (88 billion cubic meters) 90 km from the Israeli northern port of Haifa.
But Lebanese authorities said it was not clear whether the basin fell only under Israel’s waters.
“Noble Energy’s find proves that the (Lebanese) shore is rich in gas and that there is a possibility that we have a common basin, between Lebanon and Israel,” Kabbani, who heads a parliamentary committee which overseas energy issues, told Reuters.
Kabbani had said in a statement on Monday that he feared that Israel “can extract mounts of gas from the depths of Lebanon’s territorial waters if there is a common gas basin.”
“If that basin extends to Lebanese waters, then we want to warn this company from infringing on our rights,” Kabbani said, adding the parliamentary committee had requested the government take action.
Energy Minister Alain Tabourian said Lebanon was in the process of registering with the United Nations the delineation of the country’s exclusive economic zone waters to determine whether the gas find fell within it.
Neither official said how long this process would take.
But Delek Drilling, one of the partners in the U.S.-Israeli consortium, denied the possibility that the discovery was within Lebanon’s territorial waters.
“An examination made with the Petroleum Commissioner showed that these claims are not correct and the location of the license where Tamar 1 is being drilled was studied carefully and it was found that the entire area of the license was within territorial waters of the state of Israel,” it said in a statement.
Analysts estimate the natural gas is worth about $15 billion-$16 billion.
Filed under: Analysis, Mediterranean, Strictly Lebanese | 5 Comments
Tags: Haifa, Israel, Lebanon, natural gas, Noble Energy, Oil