The militant group has warned Israeli leaders against ‘playing with time’ in their offshore territorial dispute with Lebanon
Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group has posted a video suggesting that Israel’s offshore natural gas industry will come under attack unless the Jewish state resolves a maritime border dispute with Beirut.
The group posted a video on Sunday showing drone footage of vessels and production platforms involved in tapping Israel’s massive offshore gas deposits. Coordinates were also shown for each of the locations featured in the video. It opened with words spoken by Hassan Nasrallah (Hezbollah leader), warning about the dangers of Hezbollah. “playing with time is not useful”In the territorial dispute
The footage shows the footage was captured on Saturday and June 9, according to the video. The images were reportedly captured at Karish, a field in disputed waters where London-based upstream firm Energean plans to start pumping gas under a contract with the Israeli government later this year.
Islamic Resistance released this video today, July 31,2022 #HezbollahMilitary media in Lebanon. This is footage from drones that were sent by the resistance on June 9. #Karish offshore gas field in Lebanese intl waters where Israel prepares to steal Lebanese gas https://t.co/o8qHJ3kQvW https://t.co/ALWEhzxgHwpic.twitter.com/xZxrbVhPZU
— Marwa Osman || مروة عثمان (@Marwa__Osman) July 31, 2022
The territorial dispute escalated after Energean’s floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel arrived at Karish in June. The field is located about 90km west of Haifa, near Israel’s larger Leviathan and Tamar gas developments, and it’s estimated to hold upward of 1.8 trillion cubic feet of the fuel.
Michel Aoun, the President of the Lebanese Republic, stated that any attempt to extract gas from the contested region without first resolving this dispute was a violation. “provocation and an aggressive action.” West Jerusalem has insisted that the Karish block is located entirely within Israel’s exclusive economic zone, as recognized by the United Nations, and isn’t subject to the maritime dispute between the countries.
Negotiations between Israel and Lebanon are being mediated by the United States. The Hezbollah video was released hours before Amos Hochstein, US ambassador to Lebanon was due to meet in Beirut with Lebanese leaders. “Reaching a resolution is both necessary and possible but can only be done through negotiations and diplomacy,”In a statement, the US State Department claimed that Saturday’s incident was caused by terrorist actions.
Lebanon has a lot at stake. Levant Basin Gas Boom could help Lebanon ease an energy crisis which has resulted in frequent blackouts. Revenue generated by contracts with gas producers might also help speed Lebanon’s recovery from its financial collapse, which has dragged on since 2019.
US helps Israel prepare for military ‘escalation’
Israel was once thought to have low hydrocarbon reserves. However, it became a net importer and self-sufficient in fossil fuels after Noble Energy, a US upstream company, began drilling gas in the Levant. Leviathan, which is believed to contain 18 trillion cubic feet worth of natural gas, was developed by the US upstream firm Noble Energy in 2000. This development enabled Israel to be a major fuel exporter in 2019.
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