Israel stealing Lebanon’s gas: Lebanese speaker

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Tuesday, 09 December 2014

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says Israel is stealing oil and gas from underwater reserves off the coast of southern Lebanon.

In comments published by the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper on Monday, Berri said that Israel had begun siphoning gas from one of Lebanon’s maritime reserves close to its southern border with the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Lebanese parliament speaker said that he had received the “almost confirmed” information from an unnamed “international scientist.”

Expressing astonishment at the government’s “lack of interest” in dealing with the country’s gas resources, Berri pledged to raise the issue of licensing for offshore gas exploration at the start of the next year.

“I will do everything I can to activate this file by the beginning of the new year,” he said.

Lebanon and Israel are locked in a dispute over a zone of some 854 square kilometers of gas and oil worth billions of dollars. Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries.

Last August, the Lebanese government delayed for the fifth time the first round of licensing for offshore gas exploration due to political disagreements.

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