Lebanon-Israel Maritime Dispute Could Use US Help


Lebanon is about to award offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in areas that encroach onIsrael's exclusive economic zone (EEZ)’, official Israeli sources told the Globes. Israel claims that the Lebanese block 9 licence violates its EEZ. Earlier this year, in July 2013, caretaker Lebanese energy minister Gebran Bassil announced that Israel could, intentionally, or as a result of its offshore activities, syphon the gas offshore Lebanon. Bassil urged the Lebanese president, the acting prime minister and the speaker of parliament to hold two extraordinary cabinet and parliament sessions to pass two essential decrees that would allow oil and gas contracts to be awarded. The two decrees meant to demarcate the 10 maritime exploration blocks and to establish a revenue-sharing model have not been issued to date. Bassil’s concern followed the discovery of the Karish reserve offshore Israel located. Karish’s farthest point lies 15 to 17 kilometers from the Lebanese zone, while its closest point is located 4 kilometers from Lebanon’s block 8.

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