The Lebanese and Iranian ministers of energy have reached an agreement over oil and gas exploration efforts in Lebanese economic waters. The agreement will result in Iranian involvement in the search for gas and oil close to the border with Israel, the Iranian media reported today.
Lebanon will use Iran's engineering experience in setting up a joint project of the two countries to look for oil and gas in Lebanese economic waters. The initiative follows huge gas finds off Israel's Mediterranean coastline over the past two years.
In recent months various sources in Lebanon have claimed that Israel's gas finds belong to Lebanon though international law regarding economic zones at sea shows that the Leviathan and Tamar fields are in Israel's economic waters. It is not known if the Lebanese will persist and take action over these legal claims but the reports from Iran today indicate that Lebanon intends looking for gas in its own waters in the hope of finding reserves, as Israel has done.
From Iran's point of view, this latest project will deepen its involvement in the region and strengthen Lebanon's dependence on Tehran, above and beyond connection with Hezbollah. Lebanon hopes for gas discoveries in order to reduce its energy dependence on foreign countries and upgrade its electricity sector.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 4, 2010
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