Lebanon asks UN to guard gas from Israeli drilling

January 5, 2011 by  

* Lebanon asks U.N. to prevent Israel tapping its reserves

* The two countries have no agreed maritime border

BEIRUT, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Lebanon has asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that Israel’s plans to drill for gas in the Mediterranean do not encroach on its own offshore reserves, the National News Agency said on Tuesday.

It said Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami wrote to Ban asking him to “exert every possible effort to prevent Israel exploiting Lebanon’s maritime hydrocarbon resources which fall within its exclusive economic zone”.

Shami’s letter came a week after Texas-based Noble Energy (NBL.N:Quote) and its Israeli exploration partners said the Leviathan prospect — 130 km (80 miles) off the Israeli port of Haifa — was the world’s biggest deepwater gas find in the past decade. [ID:nLDE6BS10F]

Lebanon says that seismic surveys have identified promising quantities of natural gas in its own waters.

But Israel, which fought a month-long war with Lebanese group Hezbollah in 2006, has no agreed maritime border with Lebanon. Lebanese politicians say they fear Israel may drill in Lebanon’s waters or extract gas from common fields. Israel has said the gas falls within its own waters.

Shami stressed “Lebanon’s right to exploit fully its hydrocarbon resources, which fall within its exclusive economic zone, based on legitimate rights established by international law,” according to the news agency.

“Any Israeli exploitation of this resource would be a blatant violation of these laws and an attack on Lebanese sovereignty,” he added.

Spurred on by Israel’s plans to drill for gas, Lebanon’s parliament ratified a long-awaited energy law last August, which paves the way for exploration of offshore reserves.

But it still has a long way to go to catch up with Israel. It must identify blocs for exploration, supply data to interested investors, select bidders and have companies start work, while the Israelis already have firms drilling for gas. (Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Jane Baird)

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4 Responses to “Lebanon asks UN to guard gas from Israeli drilling”

  1. Rainman19 on January 6th, 2011 6:11 pm

    It seems there’s plenty of gas to go around. Of course nothing would thrill me more than to be part of a successful oil well drilled precisely on the head of Joseph. jmho

  2. mark on January 8th, 2011 9:37 pm

    lebonon is just trying to cause trouble. they probably have not got intellect enough to explore on their own territory. too busy trying to persecute Israel

  3. Aryo on February 12th, 2011 11:20 pm

    Do it Israel, you are the promised land.

    All around you are just simply jealous! none will againts you as your Lord and my Lord will simply banish who stands blocked your way.

  4. Yri on April 1st, 2011 2:32 am

    Israel, do it what it right for you. Do not worry or concern about the others’ comments. They don’t know what they are saying. Hopely, one day, they come to understand the truth. God is with you, and so there’s nothing to be afraid of. No man, no country is bigger than the God of Israel, and my God, the big God, Almighty God. God bless Israel!

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