It's Israel Vs Lebanon And Hezbollah In Escalating Dispute Over Mediterranean Gas Field

Submitted by Leith Fadel via Al-Masdar News,

The eastern Mediterranean gas field that has been put up for tender by Lebanon and is expected to be developed by an international consortium of energy companies, belongs to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. "They [Lebanon] are announcing a tender on the gas field, including Block 9, which is ours by any definition," Lieberman said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli minister said that the respectable companies participating in the tender were making a major mistake, as their involvement in the project contradicts current rules and practices, calling Lebanese actions in the eastern Mediterranean "very, very challenging and provocative conduct here."

Image via Al Arabiya

Lieberman said further that, "Respectable firms" bidding on the tender "are, to my mind, making a grave error - because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this." His remarks were made before an international security conference at a Tel Aviv University national security conference.

In December, the Lebanese government approved provisions for the right to explore two energy blocks, namely Block 4 and Block 9, in Lebanon to the consortium of Russia’s Novatek natural gas producer with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni. Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks up for international bids.


Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks (above) up for international bids. Source: Lebanese Petroleum Administration 


Disputed area above. Israel announced this week that "Block 9 is ours by definition" in a disputed area which also includes Lebanon's claims on Blocks 8 and 10. Map source: Tekmor Monitor

Lebanon, together with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, where new gas fields have been revealed in 2009. However, two Lebanese offshore blocks now lie within a triangle of maritime territory claimed by Israel.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is standing its ground against Israel after the latter recently indicated its interest in oil and gas exploration in Lebanese territorial waters. "Lebanon will use all available methods to fend off the Israeli aggression that was announced today," Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said on Wednesday.

Furthermore, Lebanese President Michel ‘Aoun slammed the Israeli threats on Block 9, vowing to defend the country’s territorial waters. The issue about the gas and oil exploration first became public with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's prior statements claiming Block 9 as Israel’s property. The Lebanese government will likely continue to respond aggressively to this economic threat and has refused to concede the interest to Israel.

And Hezbollah also weighed in on Wednesday, with its media relations wing releasing a statement that condemned the Israeli Defense Minister’s claims that Block 9 oil and gas belonged to Israel.

"The remarks of the Minister of War in the government of the Zionist enemy, Avigdor Lieberman, is a new expression of the continuing Israeli ambitions for Lebanon’s wealth, land and water, and it falls within the framework of the policy of aggression against Lebanon and its sovereignty and legitimate rights," the Hezbollah statement read.

“We express our support for the positions of Lebanon’s heads of state and other Lebanese officials against this new aggression. We reiterate our firm and unequivocal position to fiercely confronting any aggression on our oil and gas rights, thus defending Lebanon’s assets and protecting its wealth," the statement concluded.

Comments

Winston Churchill eatapeach Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

Lets just say they were very active in the Russian black market during the breakup of the USSR.

As it was relayed to me a certain unpaid general wanted them to take the ICBM's as well as the warheads.

Quite the bargain, but the logistics sucked as the Iranians misunderstood his intention and only

came for warheads.A spook told me that story, he thought it was very funny.

Are you amused ?

In reply to by eatapeach

. . . _ _ _ . . . Scipio Africanuz Thu, 02/01/2018 - 05:45 Permalink

Worth watching for some historical context:

Egypt's Lost Power (48:00)

"There is a group of men who have grown rich through secretive energy deals between Egypt and Israel. They have cost the Egyptian people billions of dollars in lost revenues. One of the men responsible was a confidante of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, the other a former Israeli intelligence officer who is now suing the Egyptian State. The film investigates the role of energy in the most important relationship in the Middle East - Israel's peace accord with Egypt - as a new balance of power emerges in the region."

In reply to by Scipio Africanuz

Mementoil . . . _ _ _ . . . Thu, 02/01/2018 - 06:26 Permalink

There are very clear international laws dictating the division of territorial and economic waters, and these laws should prevail. I will stick by this view even if this means that Lebanon is declared as the owner rather than Israel, hopefully by a non partial arbitrator.

As a Matter of fact, I will be very happy to see the Lebanese engaging in peaceful economic activity, rather than wasting all their time trying to sabotage the Israeli economy. This may actually lead to peace.

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

Government nee… resistedliving Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:36 Permalink

The Jew continues to unearth relics suggesting their lands extend . . . and extend and extend.

 

Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice
Two percent for looking in the mirror twice (Hand it over!)
Here a little slice, there a little cut
Three percent for sleeping with the window shut
When it comes to fixing prices
There are a lot of tricks I knows
How it all increases, all them bits and pieces
Jesus! It's amazing how it grows!

In reply to by resistedliving

dumluk BennyBoy Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:39 Permalink

One glance at the map, and I could just swear that all those blocks, including Block 9 are situated directly in Lebanese territorial waters.......The Israelis better be very careful on this one, cuz it will soon be clear to even those who dont see who they really are and what theyre really up to.....Ray Charles could see this one..........

In reply to by BennyBoy