Lebanon signs first offshore oil and gas contracts - minister

Lebanon Will Use Energy Block Disputed by Israel

Lebanon Will Use Energy Block Disputed by Israel

Total-led worldwide consortium (Total 40%, ENI 40%, Novatek 20%) signed two Exploration and Production Agreements (EPA) with the Republic of Lebanon, covering Blocks 4 and 9, located in the deep waters offshore Lebanon.

Meanwhile, it was known that the Israeli Minister of Energy, Yuval Steitnitz, advocated for a diplomatic solution on the disputed offshore bloc 9, in which companies of Italy, France and Russian Federation will begin drilling in 2019 to explore for gas and oil, after a concession given by the Lebanese government.

Israel and Lebanon have exchanged threats and condemnation over the tender, amid rising tensions over territorial and marine boundaries between them.

The consortium's priority will be to drill a first exploration well on Block 4 in 2019.

"A decision was made to give orders to counter any Israeli attempt to build a wall along the Lebanese border as well acting on all levels to counter Israeli statements surrounding Block 9", the council said in a strong statement, referring to a disputed gas and oil exploration block in the Mediterranean.
"There is no reason not to proceed in this way", Michel added.

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Once the platforms are brought in their protection will be assured by Lebanon's military
Once the platforms are brought in their protection will be assured by Lebanon's military

Part of the tensions stems from the border wall Israel is building between the countries.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is protesting a controversial wall that Israel is planning to build along its southern border but Lebanon says would encroach on its territory.

The two countries also have an unresolved maritime border dispute over a triangular area of sea of around 860 square meters.

The zone extends along the edge of three of the five offshore energy blocks that Lebanon put to tender early past year.

"We have confirmed and reaffirmed that Block 9 is located within the Lebanese maritime waters and is fully subject to the sovereignty of the Lebanese state", Abi Khalil said.


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