Photo Credit: Energean
The floating production rig at Israel's Karish reservoir, 56 miles off the coast.

Israel has signed an initial agreement with TotalEnergies and Eni to begin exploring natural gas within the framework of a historic maritime border agreement with Lebanon.

“The Block 9 partners will initiate the exploration of an already identified prospect which might extend both in Block 9 and into Israel waters south of the recently established maritime borderline,” TotalEnergies said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

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According to Lior Schillat, director-general of Israel’s Energy Ministry, the agreement will “allow the development of a gas reservoir that crosses the border between enemy states, an unusual event in the global energy market.”

The agreement focused on resolving a dispute over a potential gas field in Lebanon’s offshore Block 9, which extends into Israeli waters. With a 60% stake, TotalEnergies operates Block 9, and Eni owns 40%.

Last month, Lebanese and Israeli leaders finalized a maritime demarcation agreement with the U.S., where Israel completely capitulated (and then some) on its rights in its exclusive economic zone and maritime border.

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