Amid a maritime boundary dispute with Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday that production at the contentious Karish gas field will start shortly.
According to remarks made by Lapid, “Israel believes it is feasible to establish an agreement on the maritime boundary between Israel and Lebanon in a way that would serve the interests of inhabitants of both countries and enhance regional stability.”
“The Karish rig will start producing gas as soon as it is possible,” he continued. “The production of gas from the rig is not tied to the discussions.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated early on Monday that boundary delineation negotiations with Israel about Lebanon’s southern boundaries are “in their last phases.”
Tel Aviv has “particularly cautious hope,” according to an Israeli source quoted by Israeli public television KAN last week, that a settlement may be achieved with Lebanon on their disputed maritime boundary.
According to maps supplied by both nations to the UN in 2011, Lebanon and Israel are at odds over an 860 square kilometer (332 square miles) maritime region.
Natural gas and oil are abundant in the region. With US mediation and UN sponsorship, there have been five sessions of indirect discussions on the matter since 2020, with the most recent round taking place in May 2021.