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Exploration Of Lebanese Gas Field To Begin Within Weeks


US Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, the US envoy who helped broker the Lebanon-Israel maritime border agreement, has told reporters that he hopes a consortium of energy firms can begin exploration of a gas field in Lebanese waters "within weeks."

  • The agreement between Lebanon and Israel was formalised this week and will provide Lebanon with 860 square km of previously disputed territory.
  • Lebanon President Michel Aoun cautioned that the "historic agreement" will bring stability but does not signal a "normalisation" between the two countries who remain technically at war and maintain no diplomatic relations.
  • It is currently unclear how much gas can be extracted from the two gas fields within the area covered by the agreement but analysts believe that the gas can help mitigate European gas shortages in the medium to long-term.
  • Asaad Joubran, a Middle East energy investor: “To monetize cash from such a field takes years but it’s a good step moving forward toward growing the economy and successful governance in Lebanon.”
  • Ariel Ezrahi, an expert on energy diplomacy in the Middle East: “It could take several years before this gas reaches European consumers but it sends a very important message to Russia.”

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