There was great joy in Israel when the Greek oil company Energean announced a new commercial gas discovery from its Zeus exploration well in Block 12 offshore Israel. This discovery complements the earlier commercial Karish gas field just to the east (see map).
Early estimates suggest Zeus holds 13.3 billion cubic meters of gas and new well analysis is now underway.
It is only a scant few months when headlines blasted across Israel and world media on the controversial signing of the US-brokered maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanese governments. While many claimed it was an historical event others called it a political sell-out.
On a personal note, my children and grandchildren also initially argued against the agreement saying that it was feeding the enemy and the billions of dollars in revenue would be spent on terrorists and more terror.
It was a good argument, but there is a flip-side as well. The money generated by the Lebanese windfall in gas revenue will also serve to reconstruct its devastated country and economy and could be less vulnerable to political pressures. It was the price to pay for stability – Lebanon’s stability, as well, which would lessen their dependence on Hizballah – and worse, as the new income generated thereby would help secure their own borders more than any guns and drones.
It is now three months later and facts on the ground tend to prove, even at the early stages, that it was a good deal – for everyone.