Israel greenlights gas production from Karish field
Approval to Energean comes ahead of Thursday's signing of a maritime border agreement with Lebanon
Israel on Tuesday gave London-listed Energean permission to begin producing gas from Karish, an offshore field at the heart of a maritime border agreement about to be signed with Lebanon.
A statement from the energy ministry said they "gave Energean the approval to begin producing natural gas from Karish."
A spokeswoman for Energean stressed to AFP that while they had received the permit, they had not yet begun producing gas from Karish.
An energy ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday's permit was the last formality Energean needed before beginning production.
Israel and Lebanon, which are technically at war, agreed to terms earlier this month on the deal which will be approved by the Israeli government on Thursday.
Later that day, the signing was due to take place in the Lebanese town Naqura, just north of Israel.
Under the deal, Israel has full rights over the Karish gas field.
Lebanon will have full rights to operate and explore the so-called Qana or Sidon reservoir, parts of which fall in Israel's territorial waters, with the Jewish state receiving some revenues.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who is facing an election on November 1 and refused to bring the agreement before parliament for approval, commended the energy ministry's green light.
"The production of natural gas from the Karish platform bolsters Israel's energy security, enhances our stature as energy exporters, strengthens Israel's economy, and helps in grappling with the global energy crisis," he said in a statement.
Karish will join Tamar and Leviathan to become Israel's third offshore rig providing natural gas, with each connected to the mainland by separate infrastructure.
Gas exports to Jordan and Egypt would be able to increase, the energy ministry said, "and from there to additional countries in Europe that need natural gas sources in light of the global energy crisis".