Israel Signs Gas Exploration Deal with TotalEnergies, Eni

Israel signed an agreement with France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s Eni to allow them to start exploring natural gas within the framework of Israel’s maritime border deal with Lebanon. Lebanon and Israel last month signed the U.S. brokered maritime demarcation deal, bringing a measure of accommodation between the two.

One major focus of the deal was settling a dispute over a potential gas field in Lebanon’s offshore Block 9 that extends into Israeli waters. TotalEnergies is the operator of Block 9 with a 60% interest. Eni holds 40%.

“The Block 9 partners will initiate the exploration of an already identified prospect which might extend both in Block 9 and into Israel waters south of the recently established maritime border line,” TotalEnergies said on Tuesday.

Israel Energy Ministry’s director-general Schillat said the agreement would “allow the development of a gas reservoir that crosses the border between enemy states, an unusual event in the global energy market”.

A final, more detailed arrangement will be signed if commercial quantities are discovered, the energy ministry added.

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