Lebanese Politician Accuses Israel of Stealing Country's Gas

Nabih Berri, speaker of Lebanon's parliament, says Israel has begun siphoning gas from a maritime field close to the Lebanon-Israel border.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The platform at the Tamar offshore gas field.
The platform at the Tamar offshore gas field.Credit: Albatross

A prominent Lebanese politician has accused Israel of stealing Lebanon’s underwater gas resources, the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

In comments published on Monday, parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri said that Israel had effectively started siphoning gas from one of Lebanon’s maritime reserves in an area close to its southern border with Israel.

Berri said his information came from an unnamed “international scientist” and described it as "almost confirmed."

Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources, compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. Israel, Cyprus and Turkey are all much more advanced in drilling for oil and gas.

Berri said that the Lebanese government had been "careless" in dealing with its gas resources and vowed to "do everything I can to activate this file by the beginning of the new year."

A zone of some 854 square kilometers of gas and oil worth billions of dollars is disputed by Lebanon and Israel.

In March 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 34.5 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, which includes the territorial waters of Lebanon, Israel, Syria and Cyprus.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op