Israel authorizes Qatar to drill in gas field in Lebanon
Energy Consortium will be involved in up to 30 percent of Kana’s development
Israel on Tuesday approved Qatar to participate in drilling for natural gas in the Kana-Sidon field in Lebanon after a maritime border deal was reached with Beirut last month.
According to the historic agreement, which resolved a long-lasting dispute between Israel and Lebanon, Jerusalem has the right to veto the approval of any company involved in gas exploration from the field, which crosses Israel’s economic zone, despite being mostly in Lebanese territorial waters. The Qatari company Energy Consortium is expected to replace the Russian company that was supposed to work together with the French TotalEnergies and Italian ENI.
Energy Consortium will be involved in up to 30 percent of Kana’s development, according to Lebanon’s Energy Ministry. Last week, Israel signed a deal with TotalEnergies and ENI on calculating the share of income from the Kana-Sidon field that the Jewish state will receive.
Under the maritime deal, Jerusalem is said to get 17 percent of the value of the reservoir after the energy companies complete its evaluation. It is yet unclear how much gas the field contains, but as soon as it is determined, an economic plan will be developed, which will specify the agreement details with Israel.
The fact that Jerusalem has approved the Qatari company is especially significant as the two countries do not have diplomatic relations. Nevertheless, Doha has recently approved direct commercial flights from Israel for the World Cup, which kicked off in Qatar on Sunday. The Gulf state also allowed Israeli diplomats to be present on the ground as a temporary office was opened to assist Israelis who are traveling to the sporting event.