Lebanon eyes recently discovered Tamar 1 natural gas reserve

The Lebanese government might warn Noble Energy Inc., a US corporation which is part of the consortium that discovered the Tamar 1 gas reserve off the shores of Haifa, that the reserve may be in part in Lebanese territorial waters, according to Al Liwaa, a Lebanese paper. In a meeting of the Energy, Infrastructure and Public Works Committee in the Lebanese Parliament, Chairman Muhammad Kabbani said Israeli media reports on the recently discovered natural gas reserve raise the possibility that the reserve extends to Lebanon's territorial waters. "We should take every legal measure possible in order to preserve Lebanon's right," the paper quoted Kabbani as saying. Kabbani added that he was concerned of the possibility that Lebanon would lose because "Israel is the only country which is not a signatory to [international] maritime agreements." According to Al Liwaa's report, Lebanon has a desire to draw the borders of its territorial waters vis-à-vis neighboring states, including Israel. The country is therefore expected to ask Noble Energy for confirmation that drilling does not reach Lebanese territory, and also to warn the company that as long as it works for "the Israeli enemy" and the issue is not resolved, it must avoid producing gas in order to preserve any quantity of natural gas that might be found to belong to Lebanon.