"Israel is set to shake up the energy landscape in the Middle East like no one has ever seen before"

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    Jul 03, 2012 5:18 PM GMT
    Remember when people used to talk about peak oil? Count this as being another set of massive discoveries in countries that have democracies and are open to the western world.

    Israel is set to shake up the energy landscape in the Middle East like no one has ever seen before. Last week, Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP discovered an offshore oil and gas field with an estimated 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to the company’s Chairman, Ronny Halman, “The quantity of gas discovered… makes it the third-largest offshore discovery to date.” It follows last June’s announcement of uncovering 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 800 million barrels of oil in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields. Yet, for Israel, these discoveries are only the beginning
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    Jul 03, 2012 7:11 PM GMT
    Hey this is good news !! Now maybe the US and Israel will have a little less interest in Military Interventionist activities in Iran, and other Middle Eastern Country's whose primary sin is selling their oil and gas in currencies other than the dollar.

    Kinda like what happened with Iraq, a smashing success that was and what has that war on Israels wish list gained the US ? Come to think of it, Iraq wasn't alone in losing favor when they Nationalised and started selling oil in other currencies. Lets count them, Iran, Lybia, Iraq, (Afghanistans sin was not cooperating with oil pipelines from the caspian sea basin) oh and accross the pond Venezuela, made the same mistake as Iraq. Funny how when all of this make this same sin against the US Dollar Pegged Oil Barrels, that they suddenly become evil regimes.

    Anyone think Israel's discovery will slow any of the war drumming toward Iran ? We're told its all over threats to Israel, but that's been proven a propaganda lie even by Israeli Officials admissions. I guess we'll see won't
    we !!


    Given Israel's bent toward stealing territory from some of its neighbors, is this offshore discovery clearly Israels, or is it too in 'disputed' or 'occupied' territory ?

    JUST ASKING ? ALWAYS BEST TO CHECK WHEN OLD HABITS COME IN TO PLAY.
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    Jul 03, 2012 7:15 PM GMT
    realifedad said Hey this is good news !! Now maybe the US and Israel will have a little less interest in Military Interventionist activities in Iran, and other Middle Eastern Country's whose primary sin is selling their oil and gas in currencies other than the dollar.

    Kinda like what happened with Iraq, a smashing success that was and what has that war on Israels wish list gained the US ? Come to think of it, Iraq wasn't alone in losing favor when they Nationalised and started selling oil in other currencies. Lets count them, Iran, Lybia, Iraq, (Afghanistans sin was not cooperating with oil pipelines from the caspian sea basin) oh and accross the pond Venezuela, made the same mistake as Iraq. Funny how when all of this make this same sin against the US Dollar Pegged Oil Barrels, that they suddenly become evil regimes.

    Anyone think Israel's discovery will slow any of the war drumming toward Iran ? We're told its all over threats to Israel, but that's been proven a propaganda lie even by Israeli Officials admissions. I guess we'll see won't
    we !!


    Given Israel's bent toward stealing territory from some of its neighbors, is this offshore discovery clearly Israels, or is it too in 'disputed' or 'occupied' territory ?

    JUST ASKING ? ALWAYS BEST TO CHECK WHEN OLD HABITS COME IN TO PLAY.


    The Americans are really not the biggest offenders when it comes to mercantilism - you can look to other European countries and Russia and China for that matter for that. The war in Iraq after all did not even result in Americans getting most of the oil contracts or ownership of oil fields though I still think they should have forced something like the Alaska fund model.

    I think your view misses the numerous examples in the middle east if you wanted to find them of countries that are hostile to Americans and where Americans have not attempted to take them over. You're a fan of Hugo Chavez are you?
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    Jul 03, 2012 7:28 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    realifedad said Hey this is good news !! Now maybe the US and Israel will have a little less interest in Military Interventionist activities in Iran, and other Middle Eastern Country's whose primary sin is selling their oil and gas in currencies other than the dollar.

    Kinda like what happened with Iraq, a smashing success that was and what has that war on Israels wish list gained the US ? Come to think of it, Iraq wasn't alone in losing favor when they Nationalised and started selling oil in other currencies. Lets count them, Iran, Lybia, Iraq, (Afghanistans sin was not cooperating with oil pipelines from the caspian sea basin) oh and accross the pond Venezuela, made the same mistake as Iraq. Funny how when all of this make this same sin against the US Dollar Pegged Oil Barrels, that they suddenly become evil regimes.

    Anyone think Israel's discovery will slow any of the war drumming toward Iran ? We're told its all over threats to Israel, but that's been proven a propaganda lie even by Israeli Officials admissions. I guess we'll see won't
    we !!


    Given Israel's bent toward stealing territory from some of its neighbors, is this offshore discovery clearly Israels, or is it too in 'disputed' or 'occupied' territory ?

    JUST ASKING ? ALWAYS BEST TO CHECK WHEN OLD HABITS COME IN TO PLAY.


    The Americans are really not the biggest offenders when it comes to mercantilism - you can look to other European countries and Russia and China for that matter for that. The war in Iraq after all did not even result in Americans getting most of the oil contracts or ownership of oil fields though I still think they should have forced something like the Alaska fund model.

    I think your view misses the numerous examples in the middle east if you wanted to find them of countries that are hostile to Americans and where Americans have not attempted to take them over. You're a fan of Hugo Chavez are you?




    Not at all a fan of any of those leaders much less Chavez, just thought it highly logical to point out the adventurism at play here from the US who leads the other European Nations into their Interventionism. I would hope this new discovery may make interventionist tactics look less favorable, especially with the abject failure in Iraq. Again, all those country's were fine, including lack of freedoms until they started selling their oil in other than Dollars. Check me out, not through FOX PARTISAN CONTRIBUTERS LIKE BOLTEN EITHER. (for obvious reasons)
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    Jul 05, 2012 5:06 PM GMT
    Oh, dear, looks like the lunatic RLD still can't stop spitting the second someone mentions Israel.
    The hate just gushes right on out of him.
    Riddler, if you're one of the few regulars in the politics forum who hasn't yet put him on ignore, please only quote him narrowly.

    But let's have a field day with his insanity:

    RLD> Middle Eastern Country's whose primary sin is selling their oil and gas in currencies other than the dollar. Kinda like what happened with Iraq....

    Really? Iraq's "primary sin" had nothing to do with Saddam murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people or invading Kuwait?

    RLD> that war on Israels wish list

    Israel was against the Iraq war, saying the real threat was Iran.
    But RLD isn't one to let facts interfere with his ranting hate.

    RLD> Lybia

    We attacked Libya recently?
    Other than following NATO's lead to topple another mad dictator?
    Before that Libya's "primary sin" was supporting global terrorism, including blowing up civilian aircraft out of the air.
    And an illegal nuclear program, which when stopped gained Libya some favor.

    RLD> Afghanistans sin was not cooperating with oil pipelines

    Right. That was their "primary sin".
    Had nothing to do with the Taliban, OBL or 9/11.
    RLD will likely bark (to a vacant house) that 9/11 was a conspiracy.
    As if the US had to murder 3,000 of its own citizens to attack Afghanistan over an oil pipeline.

    RLD> Funny how when all of this make this same sin against the US Dollar Pegged Oil Barrels, that they suddenly become evil regimes.

    LOL. Yeah, Iran is not evil because it's a non-democratic system (which pretends otherwise with vetted candidates and fixed elections, absent an independent judiciary or free press), or because it supports terrorist groups such as Hizbullah (which prior to 9/11 had murdered more Americans than any other terrorist group) and Hamas. Or because it oppresses Bahaiis and executes gays (amongst others).

    RLD> We're told its all over threats to Israel, but that's been proven a propaganda lie

    ROTFL. Claims were made that one threat, one time, was inaccurate because it included an idiomatic rather than literal translation. But the Iranian regime has repeated such threats for over 30 years.

    Iran caught, again, trying to illegally enrich Uranium;
    Iran dreams of "a world without the US and Israel."

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/666082

    UK embassy attack orchestrated by Iranian authorities.
    France, Germany & Netherlands withdraw embassy staff from Iran.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2016638

    Azerbaijan thwarts terror attack by Iran against US embassy
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2132982

    Iranian Press TV accused of faking drone strike reports;
    Britain bans Iran's Press TV from airwaves

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2159725

    Iran blocks access to Facebook, Gmail ahead of Islamic Revolution anniversary; blogger beaten & arrested
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2177590

    Iran confirms sending troops to Syria; death toll at 13,000;
    White House: Iran engaged in "malignant behavior" in Syria.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2402115

    Intellectual dishonesty hall of shame: Freedom of opinion/press is found in Iran, not in US or UK.
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1443151

    "Iran hanged three men for having gay sex."
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1808686

    Iran: Christian Pastor Nadarkhani refuses to recant during trial, faces execution
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1848887

    Stop stoning in Iran
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1872208

    Top Commander Reiterates Iran's Commitment to Full Annihilation of Israel
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2385793


    RLD> Israel's bent toward stealing territory from some of its neighbors

    The fact of the matter is that Israel has only gained (not "stolen") territory when it was attacked.
    Both in 1948 and 1967.

    Already in 1967 Israel accepted UNSCR 242, which established the "land for peace" formula: Israel would withdraw following a peace agreement. The problem isn't that Israel is "stealing" territory but that various Arab parties have refused to make peace (the first, Egypt, was expelled from the Arab League for doing so in the late 1970s). Israel has already withdrawn from more than 90% of the territory it gained in 1967 and accepted the Clinton compromise (which would have seen it withdraw from a further net 97% of the disputed territories) and offered (2008 Olmert Plan) to withdraw from a net 99%.

    UN Security Council Resolution 242, Oslo Accords, Camp David & Taba.
    I support the CLINTON COMPROMISE parameters. Yet the war-mongering anti-Israel trolls do not.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/354843

    Revisiting the Clinton Compromise Parameters
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2271313

    Yalla, Peace!
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1285693

    Arab-Israeli COOPERATION: Palestinian Authority Officials receive Agricultural Training in Israel
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2408708

    Unfortunately all of the above won't silence RLD, who will continue to attempt to disrupt and hijack this topic because Israel was mentioned. Which, again, is why most people already have him on "ignore" (this is why the feature was added, use it).

    We now return you to this topic about oil and gas discoveries.
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    Jul 05, 2012 7:27 PM GMT
    Wha Wha LIL'AIPAC !!!! Get over your aversion to Facts that need to be exposed and the following should start deposing some of your Propaganda. This is about your Iran Propaganda.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:54:23

    Strait History and Iran's Options





    By

    Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich (about the author

    George Santayana wisely said: ""Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Oblivious to history and its lessons, America and its Western allies are repeating their actions of the 1950's -- that of imposing an oil embargo on Iran. The American-led alliance has forgotten the past.

    Iran remembers.

    When under the leadership of the nationalist Dr. Mossadegh, Iran opted to nationalize its oil industry, the British Royal Navy blocked Iran's oil exports to forcefully prevent if from nationalizing its oil. In retaliation to Iran's nationalistic ambitions, and to punish Iran for pursuing its national interests, the British instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil.

    In the 1950's, Iran did not have the military might to retaliate to the oil embargo and the naval blockade was aimed at crushing the economy in order to bring about regime change. The subsequent events is described in The New York Times [i] article as a "lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid" when an oil-rich Third World nation "goes berserk with fanatical nationalism." Iran learnt that sovereignty and nationalism necessitate tactical/military strength and determination.

    Not heeding the aftermath of the 1950's, the American-led Western allies have once again imposed an oil embargo on Iran. In retaliation, Iran has drafted a bill to stop the flow of oil through its territorial waters -- the Strait of Hormuz, to countries which have imposed sanctions against it. This bill is not without merit and contrary to the previous oil embargo, it would appear that Tehran has the upper hand and the heavy cost associated with the embargo will not be borne by Iran alone.

    Iran's Legal Standing

    The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that vessels can exercise the right of innocent passage, and coastal states should not impede their passage. Although Iran has signed the Treaty, the Treaty was not ratified, as such, it has no legal standing. However, even if one overlooks the non-binding signature, under UNCLOS framework of international law, a coastal state can block ships from entering its territorial waters if the passage of the ships harms "peace, good order or security" of said state, as the passage of such ships would no longer be deemed "innocent" [ii] .

    Even if Iran simply chooses to merely delay the passage of tankers by exercising its right to inspect every oil-tanker that passes through the Strait of Hormuz, these inspections and subsequent delays would maintain or contribute to higher oil prices. While higher oil prices would benefit Iran and other oil-producing countries, they would further destabilize the European economy which is already in crisis.

    The Military Option


    Although American-led Western allies are flexing their muscles by sending battle ships to the Persian Gulf, Washington's own war game exercise, The Millennium Challenge 2002 with a price tag of $250 million, underscored America's inability to defeat Iran. Oblivious to the lesson of its own making, by sending more warships to the Persian Gulf, the United States is inching towards a full scale conflict. The inherent danger from the naval buildup is that unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis, the forces in the Persian Gulf are not confined to two leaders who would be able to communicate to stop a run-away situation. Nor would the consequences of such a potential conflict be limited to the region.

    Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35% of the world's seaborne oil exports go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy. While only 1.1 millions barrels per day goes to the United States, a significant amount of this oil is destined for Europe. Surely, one must ask why the United States demands that its "European allies" act contrary to their own national interest, pay a higher price for oil by boycotting Iranian oil and running the risk of Iran blocking the passage of other oil-tankers destined for them?

    Again, history has the straight answer. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the United States and not the oil-producing countries has used oil as a weapon. Some examples include the pressure the United States put on Britain in the 1920s to share its oil concessions in the Middle East with U.S. companies. Post World War II, the United States violated the terms of the 1928 Red Line Agreement freezing the British and the French out of the Agreement.

    In 1956, the United States made it clear to Britain and France that no oil would be sent to Western Europe unless the two aforementioned countries agreed to a rapid withdrawal from Egypt. The U.S. was not opposed to the overthrow of Nasser, but as Eisenhower said: "Had they done it quickly, we would have accepted it " [iii] .
    It is possible that the leaders of Western European countries are beholden to special interest groups -- the pro-Israel lobbies, as the United States is, or they believe Iran will not call their bluff by ratifying the bill passed by Majlis and their oil will be delivered unhindered; perhaps both. Either way, they are committing financial suicide and their demise may well come before Iran's resolve is shaken.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    [i] "THE IRANIAN ACCORD", The New York Times, Aug 6,1954, cited by S. Shalom

    Martin Wahlisch, The Yale Journal of International Law, March 2012, citing UNCLOS, supra note 12, , art. 19, para1, and art. 25, para1.


    [iii] Stephen Shalom; The Iran-Iraq War citing Kennett Love, Suez: the Twice-Fought War, New York: McGraw Hill, 1969, p. 651


    Yes LIL'AIPAC, everytime you pop up with your godamned propaganda trying to deceive readers, you can bet I'l be promoting the facts. "ALL ABOUT ISRAEL IS NOT AS THE AIPAC CROWD WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE" Hence your title LIL'AIPAC, because you're every bit th liar for your cause that the Israeli Lobby AIPAC is,

    JUST SO YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T TAKE HATE TO INSIST ON EXPOSING PROPAGANDA BY GIVING THE FACTS !!!

    LIL'AIPAC, are you so insecure in your propaganda that you have to rely on accusations of hate and anti this and that to support your propaganda ?
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    Jul 05, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    More on the promising developments in Israel and its geopolitical implications:
    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/07/02/israels-saudi-sized-energy-potential-makes-first-political-impact/

    Actual production is still miniscule, but evidence is accumulating that the Promised Land, from a natural resource point of view, could be an El Dorado: inch for inch the most valuable and energy rich country anywhere in the world. If this turns out to be true, a lot of things are going to change, and some of those changes are already underway.
    Israel and Canada have just signed an agreement to cooperate on the exploration and development of what, apparently, could be vast shale oil reserves beneath the Jewish state.

    The prospect of huge oil reserves in Israel comes on top of the recent news about large natural gas discoveries off the coast that have been increasingly attracting attention and investor interest. The apparent gas riches have also been attracting international trouble. Lebanon disputes the undersea boundary with Israel (an act somewhat complicated by the fact that Lebanon has never actually recognized Israel’s existence), and overlapping claims from Turkey and Greece themselves plus both Greek and Turkish authorities on Cyprus further complicate matters. Yet despite these tensions, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprisingly cordial visit last week, Gazprom and Israel have announced plans to cooperate on gas extraction.

    This suggests at a minimum that Turkish efforts to block gas development in the region will face opposition from Russia as well as from Israel. Gazprom and other Russian companies are also likely to do well in any gas exploration deals developed with the strongly pro-Moscow (and very cash hungry) Greek Cypriot government.

    The stakes are not small: the offshore Levantine Basin (which Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and even Gaza will all have some claim to) is believed to have 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and “considerable” oil. Drillers working in Israeli waters have already identified what look to be 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil in addition to over a trillion cubic feet of gas. (US firms were involved in these finds.) Israel’s undersea gas reserves are currently estimated at about 16 trillion cubic feet and new fields continue to be rapidly found.

    The new Israeli-Russian agreement is part of a conscious strategy by the Israeli government to use its nascent energy wealth to improve its embattled political position. With Italy reeling under the impact of big wrong-way bets on Iran, Rome may also begin to appreciate the value of good ties with a closer and more dependable neighbor. Another sensible target for Israeli energy diplomacy would be India: the two countries are already close in a number of ways, including trade and military technology, and India is eager to diversify its energy sources.
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    Jul 05, 2012 10:21 PM GMT
    This looming war over control and development of the Levant Basin offshore gas fields has been given scant attention by the Obama Administration. Halting efforts have been made this summer to reconcile the Maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, now essentially controlled by Iran ally Hizbullah. Instead the Obama Administration has chosen to address the other world energy conflict zone along the periphery in the South China Sea, with dispatch of US Naval contingents to joint exercises with Vietnam, and a Presidential visit to Australia following the recent ASEAN meeting in Honolulu announcing the stationing of 2,500 Marines at a base in Darwin. The lack of attention about the conflicts of offshore natural gas development in the Levant Basin has yet to capture the mainstream media’s attention. However, it has clearly caught the attention of world oil and gas experts ans well as Israeli, Canadian and US business publications along with the press in Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon and Turkey, all of whom are actors in the swirl of competing gas developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region. A region sizzling with daily reports of threats and military show of force to protect these vital energy resources.

    Witness the quickening pace of news that occurred in November, 2011:
    •On November 2nd, Israel signed a bilateral energy development agreement with Cyprus, and Noble Energy announced development of a major LNG facility of the Island nation’s south coast;
    •On November 16th Turkey announced offshore drilling deal with Shell Oil in an area offshore in the waters close to the Turkish enclave in northern Cyprus;
    •On November 20-21, Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with Greek officials to discuss joint exploration of the region’s gas fields
    •On November 23rd, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Israeli and Cypriot energy exploration in the Mediterranean was illegal, agreement should first be reached with all relevant parties, and resources should be equally shared.
    •On November 25th, Russia announced that it was sending its aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetzov for maneuvers off the disputed area offshore of Cyprus in a clear demonstration of support Greek Cypriot claims and as a warning to the Erdogan regime in Ankara

    This article will address the game-changing significance of Israel’s natural gas discoveries in the Levant Basin, their potential for energy independence and significant economic impact, and the resulting disputes over maritime borders with neighbors in the Levant Basin, the changing regional geo-political and security dynamics, and implications for dealing with the overarching Iranian nuclear threat in the Middle East.





    Noble Energy, Inc. Map of Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas Fields

    The Oil and Gas Journal, a US industrial sector publication issued a report, “Israel's offshore gas reserves poised to rise” that underlined how the imminence of energy independence for the Jewish state that may also be a potential geo-political game changer in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The report noted:


    Israel’s reserves of natural gas, now under development in the country’s Mediterranean offshore, are poised to rise substantially in the near future, according to a senior government official.

    “Israel’s potential gas discoveries stand at 1,000 billion cu m,” said Israel Natural Gas Authority Director-General Yehosua Stern, adding that Israel's proven gas reserves amount to 300 bcm, most of it in the offshore Tamar field.

    However, Stern told delegates at a conference on energy and the environment that the reserves figure is expected to rise by a further 453 bcm after production tests are completed at Leviathan field.

    Stern also told conference delegates that he expects an additional 550 bcm of gas to be discovered in Israeli economic waters, which eventually will bring the country's total reserves to 1,300 bcm.

    “In 2014-15 there will be an additional entry from Tamar to Israel in the Ashkelon region,” said Stern, who also noted that “an additional supplier will come into the Israeli gas market around 2016-17.”

    The credit for this goes to a consortium composed of Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy, Inc. (Noble) (NBL-NYSE) and its Israeli partner, Delek Group. Noble has been developing offshore gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean since 1998. By 2013, the closer in Mari gas fields will come on stream, followed by the Tamar and the larger Leviathan field, currently under development. Other smaller gas fields are located off shore of the port of Ashdod.

    On November 2nd, Noble announced a 10 billion dollar LNG project to be built at Vasiliko near the University of Cyprus connecting with Israel’s Leviathan field.

    Cyprus News noted that this announcement came on the cusp of a visit by Israel’s President Shimon Peres to sign bi-lateral agreements:
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    Jul 05, 2012 10:29 PM GMT
    In a mid-July, 2011 at a cabinet meeting, Israeli PM Netanyahu made an announcement that contested Lebanon’s Maritime Border endorsed by the US. Ha’aretz noted:

    Will Israel Win the Energy Prize in the Levant Basin?

    by Jerry Gordon (December 2011) on the New English Review
    Both this and the above post came from the New English Review by same writer
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Sunday to a recent dispute on Israel’s maritime border with Lebanon, saying at a cabinet meeting that the lines delineated in a Lebanese proposal are significantly further south than those recognized by Israel and determined in previous deals.



    “The lines declared by Lebanon contradict both the maritime border agreement signed by Israel and Cyprus, as well as the border agreement signed between Lebanon itself and Cyprus,” Netanyahu said at the meeting, adding that Israel is actively working to clarify the border based on international maritime law.

    At issue is potentially billions of dollars in offshore gas field developments, although Israel’s offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas fields with over 26 trillion cubic feet will not be affected. Lebanon’s proposed Maritime Border was announced in August, 2010 by former Lebanese PM, Saad Hariri. The Lebanese Maritime Border with Cyprus was submitted last November to the UN. The Lebanese proposal has the endorsement of the US, raising the question of whether the Obama administration is trying to carve out billions of contested offshore gas developments that would come under a Lebanese government controlled by a Hizbullah coalition.
    Israeli PM Netanyahu’s cabinet announcement comes amid accusations that Iran and Hizbullah are behind the proposed Maritime Border would establish an undersea Exclusive Enterprise Zone (EEZ) under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) . That EEZ would intrude on Israel’s northern Maritime Border. Neither country maintains diplomatic relations so the matter would be sent to UN for arbitration. We note that Lebanon is a signatory to UNCLOS, while Israel is not. Further, the US which sponsored the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has not ratified it.

    The Ha’aretz report went on to note:


    Israel has rejected the possibility of indirect talks via the United Nations to resolve the issue, calling on Lebanon to begin negotiations on all border issues, not just the maritime border. The foreign and infrastructure ministries believe that Lebanon is claiming vast offshore territories that belong to Israel under international law.

    "It's important to provide the UN with the Israeli version of the border as soon as possible, to react to Lebanon's unilateral move," a senior Foreign Ministry official told Ha’aretz. "Not responding could be interpreted as a tacit agreement. We must act fast to ensure Israel's economic rights in these areas."

    Israel has become even more concerned about the positioning of the border after learning recently that a Norwegian company has begun searching for gas in the area. The search is due to be completed within months, and the Lebanese government hopes to use the findings to license international energy companies to probe areas that could be in Israel's EEZ.
    Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon underlined suspicions that Iran and Hizbullah were behind this move in his Ha’aretz comments:


    We signed an agreement with Cyprus that is in keeping with its agreement with Lebanon, when we announced our gas drilling. The Iranians and Hizbullah decided that it would be a good excuse for conflict with us.


    They decided to sketch a new border south of the line that was agreed to in talks between Lebanon and Cyprus, and basically entered our territory. It was done with premeditation in order to create conflict with us, just like the Sheba Farms.

    At issue is the role of US diplomat Frederic Hof, an aide to former Special Envoy George Mitchell, who had submitted the Lebanese Maritime border plan to "outside experts" resulting in US endorsement. Ha’aretz in a separate report noted the exchanges and role of US official Hof:


    In April, Hof began shuttling between Beirut and Jerusalem. A senior Administration official told Ha’aretz that Hof's main goal was to prevent the border from becoming a source of tension between Israel and Lebanon, which could give Hizbullah a pretext for targeting Israeli gas installations.

    Beyond the political and diplomatic interest, the United States has an economic interest in keeping the parties calm, not least because American companies are involved in the search for gas and oil in Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus. Hof told his counterparts in Jerusalem that Israel should cooperate with setting the maritime border to prevent the creation of an "underwater Shaba Farms," referring to a contested area on the Israel-Lebanon border.
    The Foreign Ministry official said Israel had asked the Americans to relay a warning to Lebanon on the matter. Foreign Ministry officials told Hof that Israel would not allow a provocation on the matter or an attack on Israeli gas installations. They said Israel would consider such an attack an attack on its sovereign territory and would retaliate "strongly" against Lebanon.

    Hof responded by suggesting that Israel submit to the United Nations its own outlook on the border and try to launch a dialogue. Hof asked Israel not to turn the issue into a political spat but to see it as an economic and technical matter that could benefit all parties.

    A Globes Israel Business report on the fracas over the Maritime Border between Israel and Lebanon thought the impact on Israel’s gas development was “marginal.” Note this assessment by Amiram Barkat:


    The route that the border follows is now being submitted to the UN, about a year after Lebanon submitted its interpretation of the sea border route between the two countries. The decision on the matter will be taken by an arbitration body appointed by the UN, and not the US.

    However, the entire story has been taken out of all proportion. Even if the UN were to adopt the Lebanese version of the maritime border, there would be no serious harm to Israel's exploration licenses in the region.

    A professional Israeli source that examined the border route under contention said that it involved the northern extremes of the Alon and Ruth licenses, in the northern part of Israel's licenses region. As far as is known, in these areas there are several structures that might contain gas or oil, but these structures are relatively small, and are not top of the agenda of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) who own the licenses.

    The only fallout from moving the Israel Lebanon maritime border south would thus be in the Ruth and Alon gas and oil fields, if there are discoveries in these licenses, and if they spill over the border into Lebanon. If that is the case then development of these fields, which are far from the top of the agenda, would be delayed.

    Could this Maritime Border dispute between Lebanon and Israel erupt in a battle for control of gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, upstaging the current contest between China and countries like Vietnam and the Philippines over oil development in the South China Sea? When Lebanon announced its Maritime Border plans, Israel Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure Dr. Uzi Landau said in a June 2010 Globes Israel Business report :
    Could this Maritime Border dispute between Lebanon and Israel erupt in a battle for control of gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, upstaging the current contest between China and countries like Vietnam and the Philippines over oil development in the South China Sea? When Lebanon announced its Maritime Border plans, Israel Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure Dr. Uzi Landau said in a June 2010 Globes Israel Business report :


    We will not hesitate to use our force and strength to protect not only th
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    Jul 06, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    The view from Canada:

    http://www.canada.com/business/fp/Canada+Israel+sign+energy+deal/6843372/story.html

    CALGARY — Canada and Israel are joining forces over energy.

    The two countries signed an agreement on energy cooperation Tuesday that will allow for more collaboration over resource development projects and renewable power research.

    ...The London-based World Energy Council estimates the Shfela Basin, southwest of Jerusalem, contains up to 250 billion barrels of shale oil. The discovery places the country third globally in shale oil resources, behind just the United States and China, and rivals the 250 billion barrels of conventional oil reserves controlled by Saudi Arabia.

    ...Canadian knowledge and expertise could help Israel to quickly gain ground, which in turn could lead to a shift in the energy influence in the Middle East away from traditional power brokers such as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries.

    “OPEC has been dominant because conventional oil is concentrated in a few countries but as non-conventionalenergy is more dispersedly found, that is going to reduce that dominance and frankly that is good for the West and it is good for Canada,” he [Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources] said in an interview last week.

    “And with their recent finds, it is good for Israel as well.”

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    Jul 06, 2012 4:43 AM GMT
    Edition 11 Volume 10 - March 15, 2012


    The Eastern Mediterranean gas discoveries: conflict or cooperation?

    • Potential conflict - Nizar Abdel-Kader
    Israel and Lebanon can benefit tremendously from these resources.

    • A significant strategic development for Israel - David Brodet
    The changes dictated by the discovery and production of natural gas pertain to the military sphere as well.

    • Cyprus: there may be some truth to the rumors - an interview with Chris Pelaghias
    A liquefaction plant in Cyprus could change the balance of energy power in the region.

    • The jury is still out - Mamdouh G. Salameh
    The dispute is mostly a demarcation issue.

    Potential conflict
    Nizar Abdel-Kader

    In January 2009, Israeli oil company Delek and US Noble Energy Company discovered (some 55 miles off the coast of Haifa) a large natural reservoir known as "Tamar", which holds an estimated eight trillion cubic feet of gas. Early in 2010, another offshore gas field called "Leviathan" with a potential of 16 trillion cubic feet was discovered. Once exploited, these two fields could provide Israel with more than its domestic demand and turn Israel into a major exporter of natural gas.

    Subsequently, in 2012, Cyprus, with the help of an Israeli company and Noble Energy, discovered a gas reservoir that could make the small island energy independent for 200 years. This gas find of eight trillion cubic feet was called "historic" by the Cyprus government. According to a press announcement by Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's president, this was the fifth natural gas field discovered by Noble Energy in the Levant Basin. A US geological survey published in 2009 claimed that there were 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas off the coasts of Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel and Gaza, in addition to 1.7 billion cubic meters of oil.

    Awakened by the Israeli gas discoveries, Lebanese politicians made a series of provocative statements, and Hizballah issued a warning pledging to defend Lebanon's natural resources. Israel responded in kind, stating that its military would not hesitate to protect the gas fields.

    After several months of political bickering, Lebanon's parliament endorsed in August 2011 a draft law demarcating the country's maritime boundaries with Israel and Cyprus. A few months later, the Israeli government unilaterally mapped out Israel's maritime boundaries with Lebanon, which Lebanese authorities (as well as Hizballah) argue infringe on Lebanon's economic zone by 850 square kilometers. As a matter of fact, Lebanon earlier reached an agreement with Cyprus, but the agreement was never ratified by Lebanon due to fears that the Turkish government might express reservations, thus jeopardizing economic interests between Turkey and Lebanon.
    Lebanese authorities have asked the United Nations to help in establishing a temporary sea boundary between Lebanon and Israel, a maritime line equivalent to the blue line established by the UN in 2000, but the UN has been reluctant to assume this potentially thankless task.

    Both Israel and Lebanon have trillions of cubic feet of underwater natural gas and can benefit tremendously from these resources. However, the problem remains that they need UN assistance in facilitating indirect negotiations between them to help demarcate the boundary line. Such a process usually occurs through bilateral negotiations or mutually-agreed arbitration. However, because the two countries remain in a state of war, no such opportunity exists. Experts advise that Lebanon and Israel could exploit the gas in the disputed area jointly through what is called "unitization" by dividing the gas then together developing the reservoir according to each side's relative portion. Otherwise, each side could drill separately, but this practice would be damaging to the reservoir.

    Turkey, in turn, has placed additional pressure on Cyprus by declaring the island's maritime agreement with Israel null and void. According to the Turkish government, Turkish Cypriots also have rights and jurisdiction over maritime areas of Cyprus. The Turkish official position went as far as to start Turkish exploration around Cyprus.

    Taking into consideration the conflicting positions of the various nations involved, one can see that the issue of gas and oil discoveries in the Levant Basin is a highly complicated matter politically, legally and strategically. Of course, it remains within each state's authority to defend its rights with regards to its own exclusive economic zone, which should be set based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. But such steps might not be enough to solve the clash of interests among the various states involved, and there may be a need for a regional conference sponsored by the UN with the main task of facilitating negotiations between Lebanon and Israel, as well as between the Turks and Greek Cypriots. Such international negotiations and arbitration appear necessary to avoid future military conflict.
    The discoveries of gas fields by Israel and Cyprus are stirring the pot of regional turmoil and provoking various reactions from the other players in the Eastern Mediterranean. It looks as if the region is on the verge of a very volatile and highly complicated situation.

    It is perhaps no surprise that the sudden interest of Hizballah in the potential hydrocarbon wealth of the Israeli and Lebanese coastlines could turn the Mediterranean into a new theatre of conflict along the lines of the conflict over the Shebaa Farms. It remains the responsibility of the Lebanese government to approach the gas fields in a practical (not political) way, as it did with the Shebaa Farms.

    To avoid future tensions between Lebanon and Israel and to prevent Hizballah from creating another border conflict, the US government is advising both Lebanon and Israel to focus on benefitting from the gas reserves instead of using them as the grounds for a new dispute. Of course, the US priority is centered on regional stability and the protection of US companies working for Israel and Cyprus.

    All governments concerned should realize that in order to exploit such huge underwater gas reserves, they will all need to attract immense foreign investment that will not be available unless they manage to promote a peaceful and stable environment among them.-Published 15/3/2012 © bitterlemons-international.org


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    Jul 06, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    U.S. backs Lebanon on maritime border dispute with Israel
    Amid rising tensions over gas reserves, Israel to submit proposal to UN on where maritime economic border with Lebanon should be over next few days; U.S. endorsed Lebanon's proposal submitted to UN in August.
    By Barak Ravid | Jul.10, 2011 | 1:32 AM | 42 From Haaretz News


    In the next few days Israel will submit to the United Nations its take on where its maritime economic border with Lebanon should be, as the two countries scramble for gas reserves estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

    Israel's position is due to be approved by the cabinet on Sunday; Jerusalem argues that Lebanon's proposal includes major areas belonging to Israel.

    Last August, Lebanon submitted to the United Nations its version of where the maritime border should be - the exclusive economic zone. In November, it submitted its version of its western border, with Cyprus.

    The Lebanese proposal does not include the large Tamar and Leviathan gas prospects, operated by Delek Energy and U.S. company Noble Energy. But the National Infrastructure Ministry found that the proposal contains reserves with a potential value in the billions of dollars.

    The Lebanese also sent their version to the United States, which conducted an expert review and endorsed the document. A senior Foreign Ministry official told Haaretz that the American diplomat in charge of the issue was Frederic Hof, who was responsible for Syria and Lebanon under the former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Hof has kept the

    Israel-Lebanon brief despite Mitchell's resignation two months ago.

    In April, Hof began shuttling between Beirut and Jerusalem. A senior administration official told Haaretz that Hof's main goal was to prevent the border from becoming a source of tension between Israel and Lebanon, which could give Hezbollah a pretext for targeting Israeli gas installations.

    Beyond the political and diplomatic interest, the United States has an economic interest in keeping the parties calm, not least because American companies are involved in the search for gas an oil in Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus. Hof told his counterparts in Jerusalem that Israel should cooperate with setting the maritime border to prevent the creation of an "underwater Shaba Farms," referring to a contested area on the Israel-Lebanon border.

    The Foreign Ministry official said Israel had asked the Americans to relay a warning to Lebanon on the matter. Foreign Ministry officials told Hof that Israel would not allow a provocation on the matter or an attack on Israeli gas installations. They said Israel would consider such an attack an attack on its sovereign territory and would retaliate "strongly" against Lebanon.

    Hof responded by suggesting that Israel submit to the United Nations its own outlook on the border and try to launch a dialogue. Hof asked Israel not to turn the issue into a political spat but to see it as an economic and technical matter that could benefit all parties.

    Israel rejected indirect talks via the United Nations, calling on Lebanon to begin negotiations on all border issues, not just the maritime border. The foreign and infrastructure ministries believe that Lebanon is claiming vast offshore territories that belong to Israel under international law.

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    Jul 06, 2012 7:15 AM GMT
    Personally, I am THRILLED that Israel has discovered all that oil and natural gas!!!
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    Jul 06, 2012 9:34 AM GMT
    mouillepoint saidPersonally, I am THRILLED that Israel has discovered all that oil and natural gas!!!



    I am too, maybe now there'll be less of an inclination to mess with neighbors borders, hope they can be happy with what they have and settle with Lebanon borders in a fair way instead of the usual. >>>> We Israeli leadership demand our cake, we want to eat it too, and we want most of yours as well. <<<<< Now you fools who don't like it, take your beatings you 'goyim' because they won't stop until your 'attitudes' improve and there is no retaliation coming back from you for what we do against you. HMMM !! that's a pretty fair discription of their treatment of their brothers to the west out to the jordan isn't it.
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    Jul 06, 2012 2:07 PM GMT
    mouillepoint saidPersonally, I am THRILLED that Israel has discovered all that oil and natural gas!!!

    Yeah, it's pretty exciting. But let's hope none of Israel's neighbors gets a Saddam complex* and have one more reason to stall the peace process or worse, for aggression ("throw the Jews into the sea... and get their oil, too!").

    * Invading Iran for oil just on the other side of the border, "stealing" all of Kuwait for its oil. How odd that the people who claim the US is constantly fighting oil wars (above we saw that Afghanistan's "primary sin" wasn't the Taliban or harboring Al Qaeda before and after 9/11, but stalling on an energy pipeline) are silent when others do it. Just as they speak only against Western "imperialism". What a comical bunch of hypocritical (faux "principles" for-the-cause) clowns.
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    Jul 06, 2012 5:12 PM GMT
    LIL'AIPAC, you don't read many in depth researched articles about US efforts to bring about control of the Caspian Sea basin Oil and the pipelines coming from that area through Afghanistan, Southern Croatia and etc. You couldn't have if you've missed that the US has been involved in messing with Iraq and Iran's internal affairs over oil for decades. Remember, Saddam Was a friend of the US, supported militarily by US and Israel in its 8 year war with Iran, Friends that is until Saddam Nationalized their oil and started selling in other than the US Dollar. You miss a lot by only reading the cover up Propaganda.

    You must not be aware that the US through the CIA started the madrassa training schools through Bin Ladin, my god your Propaganda to cover up facts in the area runs deep doesn't it.

    Can you tell us the latest news on Israel's working with the UN and Lebanon as suggested by the US to settle differences over the under seal borders ? Is Israel's leadership co operating or are they going it alone like on most other issues and then Lobbying through their right arm AIPAC to get yet another US Veto to keep propping up their intransigence ?

    The Typical way for Israel to negotiate is "We expect to have our cake, to be able to eat it, and we want most of yours too", Has the Israeli leadership backed off this tactic regarding their negotiating undersea borders with Lebanon ? It would be great if they would. How about searching that out rather than spewing your propaganda to cover up the facts ?