Offshore Gas and Oil: Israel lays claim to all the resources

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USGS: 60% of oil & gas deposits lie in Gaza's waters


U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc. recently announced a massive natural gas field discovery, located 130 kilometers offshore of Haifa and consisting of an estimated 450 billion cubic meters. Resources in the surrounding area should total some 700 billion cubic meters. Exploration and exploitation are overseen by an international consortium composed by the U.S. company Noble Energy Inc., currently the largest shareholder with a 40% stake, plus Israeli enterprises Delek, Avner and Ratio Oil Exploration.

This accounts for only a small part of the energy reserves abounding in the Levantine basin, which comprises Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and their territorial waters. According to U.S. Geological Survey, a U.S. Government agency which has been prospecting in the region for several years, the natural gas deposits in the basin amount to approximately 3 500 billion cubic meters, while the oil reserves have been assessed at 1,7 billion barrels.

The Israeli government, with Washington’s backing, considers it is entitled to all the energy reserves. Israeli national infrastructure minister Uzi Landau declared that the large natural gas fields would not only bring economic benefits to Israeli citizens but could also transform Israel into a gas supplier in the Mediterranean region. However, objected Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri, Israel is disregarding the fact that, according to the maps, the fields stretch into Lebanese territorial waters. The United Nations Convention stipulates that a coastal state may exploit offshore gas and oil reserves within a zone extending 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the shore.

Read more at Voltaire: Arabs, keep out! Israel lays claim to all the resources



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