Tel Aviv, Nov 16 (VOICE) Israel said that it has signed an agreement with the two energy companies licensed by Lebanon to drill in a gas field on the maritime border between the two countries to secure its economic rights to the field.
The agreement with the consortium of France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s ENI will ensure that the Qana-Sidon gas field, also known as Block 9, in the Mediterranean will not be developed without keeping Israel’s economic rights, according to an Energy Ministry statement.
“The agreement with the two companies will contribute to the development of a cross-border reservoir between enemy countries, an unusual event in the global energy market,” Xinhua news agency quoted Lior Schillat, director general of the Ministry, as saying.
The gas field had been disputed between Lebanon and Israel until it was fully transferred to Beirut on condition that the Jewish state has the right to share economic profits from its exploration, according to a landmark maritime border agreement signed between the two countries in October.
The amount of compensation Israel is entitled to from TotalEnergies and ENI is expected to be included in a detailed agreement between Israel and the two companies in the future, according to the current agreement.
TotalEnergies on Tuesday announced that it will launch oil and gas exploration in Block 9 of Lebanon’s waters and into Israel waters south of the recently established maritime borderline.
The maritime deal, signed on October 27, sets a sea boundary between Israel and Lebanon, which have been technically in a state of war since the statehood of Israel in 1948.
Under the US-brokered deal, Israel will keep its control over the Karish gas field.
Israel would receive 17 per cent of the profits from the Qana natural gas field, which will be under Lebanese control.
Under the deal, the Qana field will be explored by the French energy giant Total.