Israel and Lebanon reach historic agreement, paving the way to potentially rich gas exploration
(Lebanon) – Israel and Lebanon reached an agreement on Tuesday aimed at facilitating the natural gas exploration in Israel’s BESA natural gas field, the Israel Ministry of Energy reported.
The Israel Cabinet will vote on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday to legalize the gas exploration in the area of Tel-Sharon, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The agreement was reached on a “working level” after intensive talks.
“On the topic of exploratory activities in our joint field, we have reached an agreement on a working level, which would lead to signing and finalization of the agreement after a few weeks,” the Lebanese energy minister announced on Tuesday.
“This agreement is crucial not only for us but also for the gas consumers in the world. It will create a framework for the joint exploration of natural gas in our country,” said Lebanese Energy Minister Naim Qassem.
The MoU will pave the way for Israel to explore the natural gas field and receive the right to take part in the commercial exploitation of the gas. It requires the Israeli government to give the Lebanese Cabinet five years to prepare the necessary documents, and then submit them to the Israeli cabinet.
The MoU is intended to set the stage for the establishment of BESA natural gas company in Lebanon, which is one of the most valuable assets to the Israel economy.
The gas field was discovered by the Israel Geological Survey (IGS), has a volume of 2.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and an estimated reserves of 60 years’ supply. It is expected to have a total storage capacity of 100 tcf.
Last month, Lebanon signed an agreement for the commercial exploration of the gas field. A delegation of the Lebanese Energy Ministry head a fact-finding mission, which will visit Israel, in order to assess the feasibility of the project as well as to discuss cooperation on the commercial exploitation of the project.
The gas field’s reserve, in terms of oil