Prospecting for Prosperity: Israel’s Gas Exploration Journey at the Lebanese Border

Lebanon has begun gas exploration drilling on its border with Israel, despite a long-standing maritime border dispute between the two countries. The drilling is being carried out by a consortium led by French energy company TotalEnergies, with Italian oil group ENI and state-owned QatarEnergy.

The drilling is taking place in Block 9, a disputed area that lies just 12 kilometers off the coast of Lebanon. Israel claims that Block 9 is part of its territory, but Lebanon has rejected this claim.

The Lebanese government has said that it hopes to find gas reserves in Block 9 that will help to alleviate the country’s crippling economic crisis. However, the drilling has been met with opposition from some Lebanese groups, who argue that it is a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and that it will benefit Israel.

Implications of the gas exploration drilling

The gas exploration drilling has a number of implications, including:

Economic benefits for Lebanon: If gas reserves are found in Block 9, it could provide a much-needed economic boost for Lebanon. The country is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in its modern history, with high inflation and unemployment. Gas exports could generate revenue for the government and create jobs.
Reduced reliance on energy imports: Lebanon currently imports most of its energy needs. If gas reserves are found in Block 9, it could help the country to reduce its reliance on energy imports. This would make Lebanon more energy self-sufficient and less vulnerable to price swings in the global energy market.
Increased tensions with Israel: The gas exploration drilling is likely to increase tensions between Lebanon and Israel. The two countries have been in a state of war since 1948, and they have a long history of maritime border disputes. The drilling is likely to raise concerns in Israel that Lebanon is trying to exploit gas reserves that belong to Israel.

Israel to profit

Under the terms of a maritime border agreement signed between Lebanon and Israel in October 2022, Israel will be entitled to a percentage of the royalties from any gas reserves that are found in Block 9. The exact percentage has not been disclosed, but it is believed to be around 17%.

This means that if gas reserves are found in Block 9, Israel will benefit financially. This has led to criticism from some Lebanese groups, who argue that the agreement is unfair and that it will allow Israel to profit from Lebanon’s resources.

The gas exploration drilling on the Lebanese border is a significant development. If gas reserves are found, it could have a major impact on Lebanon’s economy and on its relationship with Israel. The drilling is also likely to increase tensions between Lebanon and Israel.

It is important to note that the gas exploration drilling is still in its early stages. It is not yet clear whether gas reserves will be found in Block 9. However, the potential economic benefits for Lebanon are significant.

The Lebanese government has a responsibility to ensure that the gas exploration drilling is carried out in a transparent and accountable manner. The government must also ensure that the Lebanese people benefit from any gas reserves that are found.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *