The Lebanese Ministry for Energy and Water has expressed an interest in reports of a natural gas deposit found off the Haifa coast.
Noble Energy said on Sunday that it discovered more than three trillion cubic feet of natural gas off Israel's northern shores, at the Tamar-1 drill site located 56 miles west of the Haifa Port.
Tuesday's meeting of the ministry's water and energy committee, which was attended by Energy and Water Minister Alain Tabourian, saw committee head Mohammad Qabbani say Lebanon intends on lobbying for the drill site to be registered with the proper UN authorities, since there is a possibility that some of it is actually in Lebanese territorial water.
Qabbani urged the parliament to "take whatever legal measures needed to insure that Lebanon's territorial water rights are preserved," and recommended Tabourian send US-based Noble Energy an official warning informing it that "it is working for the Israeli enemy and must be wary not to infringe on Lebanon's rights, should the gas deposit prove mutual."
Qabbani explained his concerns by saying that Israel was the only country in the region "not bound by marine agreements."
Lebanon's energy market is depleted, forcing Beirut to import natural gas from Egypt.
Dr. Gil Feiler is founder and managing director of Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd , and Doron Peskin is head of research