The Ministry of energy of Lebanon announced that the international Russian-Italian-French consortium won the tender for the right to search for gas in blocks 4 and 9 of the exclusive economic waters in the Mediterranean sea.
The consortium included the French company Total, the Italian ENI and the Russian company «NOVATEK».
According to the report, the consortium became the sole, which made its offer on the tender, although earlier it was reported that interest in the tender was expressed by several dozen companies, including leading energy companies.
It should be noted that block 9 is located in the southern part of the exclusive economic zone of Lebanon and partially overlaps with the Northern part of the exclusive economic zone of Israel.
Israel and Lebanon have no agreement on the Maritime boundary, so Israel has based its claim on the Israeli-Cypriot and Lebanese-Cypriot agreement. The cause of territorial conflict are differences in the location of the ceasefire line of 1949 to the Israeli and Lebanese maps. Total area contested by Lebanon area – 850 square kilometers. The government of Lebanon and of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah has repeatedly accused Israel of «stealing Lebanese gas,» and threatened to solve the problem «by force».
However, in Beirut this border dispute, claiming the 800 square kilometers of the Israeli economic zone.
Lebanon became interested in Maritime border with Israel after it became known that Israeli companies have discovered large gas fields «Tamar» and «Leviathan» on the shelf of the Mediterranean sea. From Beirut said that part of the field belongs to Lebanon. Jerusalem has rejected these claims.
In the summer of 2012 the Lebanese newspaper «As-Safir» argued that Washington and the UN recognized the right of Lebanon to 530 square kilometers of disputed territory.
In 2013, the government of Lebanon announced a tender to search for oil in its EEZ, the application for which was filed by 53 companies from 25 countries. All bidders had previously declined to participate in similar projects in Israel. Among the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Schell, Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Total, ENI, Statoil, and «Rosneft».
In March 2017 the government of Israel appealed to the United States and the United Nations with the requirement to force Lebanon to cancel the tenders to search for oil and gas in five blocks in the contested Lebanese waters, the exclusive economic zone of Israel.
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