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The Eastern Mediterranean could become a “stable supplier of energy” to the European Union if the recent maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon spurs more investment in the region, the head of the company that launched the latest gas production project says.
“I think there is a lot more gas to be found,” Mathios Rigas, chief executive of Energean, told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.
Energean said at the end of October that first gas was achieved at the Karish field offshore Israel, two weeks after Israel and Lebanon reached a historic agreement to settle their long-running dispute over their maritime border.
“We have delivered a landmark project that brings competition to the Israeli gas market, enhances security of energy supply in the East Med region and brings affordable and clean energy that will displace coal-fired power generation, making a material impact to the environment,” Energean’s Rigas said last month.
The Israel-Lebanon deal could pave the way to more oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean region where major gas discoveries have been made in recent years. The settling of the dispute could encourage more investment in gas supply from an area close to the EU which, in the future, could help the bloc diversify its gas supply sources as it seeks to ditch Russian gas dependence by 2027.
More exploration and investments in the Eastern Mediterranean could make the region a “stable supplier of energy” for the EU, Energean’s Rigas told FT.
Under the Israel-Lebanon agreement, the Karish oil and gas field and an area known as the Qanaa prospect are expected to be in Israeli and Lebanese waters, respectively.
A week after the border deal, Lebanon urged French supermajor TotalEnergies, which owns the contract to explore Lebanese waters, to start drilling in Block 9.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.