Lebanon is grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis that need not delay resolving its conflict with Israel over their maritime border, and hence the resumption of UN-sponsored sea talks between the two, MTV reported on Monday.
According to information, MTV said Lebanon has a potential gas field in Block No. 9 (marked in red in the picture above), extending beyond Line 23 and to Block 72 that Israel intends to take.
The field in question is larger than Israel’s Karish field, it said.
Lebanon and Israel need to reach common ground on their maritime border talks and hence their oil and gas wealth. It would greatly benefit the crisis-wracked country and help it steer out of its economic and financial crisis.
French oil and gas company, Total, intends to drill away from this Lebanese field for fear that Israel will take part in it and obstruct the production process, as it did in the Aphrodite field with Cyprus for ten years.
Experts believe that amendment to Decree 6433 and demanding Line 29 that threatens the Karish field, will protect this field in Block 9.
Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. They each claim about 860 square kilometers of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones.
Israel has already developed a natural gas industry elsewhere in its economic waters, and Lebanon hopes oil and gas discoveries in its territorial waters will help it overcome the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.
Lebanon and Israel held three rounds of talks in the southern region of Ras al-Naqoura, under U.N. and U.S. auspices to allow for offshore energy exploration.
The third round was described as “negative” because of “divergent stances between the two.”