Israeli PM visits gas rig after landmark maritime deal with Lebanon

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid visited the Karish gas rig in the Mediterranean for the first time since his country signed a historic maritime demarcation deal with Lebanon.

Standing at the Karish rig, where gas production started on October 26, Lapid said on Sunday the natural gas field “is the energy and economic future” of Israel, reports Xinhua news agency.

“From here flows the gas that promises a lower cost of living,” he said in a video statement, adding revenues from gas production would “lower energy prices in Israel, turn Israel into a regional energy supplier, and help Europe take on its energy crisis”.

Energean, a London-headquartered energy giant, holds gas production rights from Karish.

Natural gas from the field has been “providing electricity to customers in Israel since last weekend”, according to a statement released by Lapid’s office on Sunday.

The maritime deal, signed on October 27, sets a sea boundary between Israel and Lebanon, which have been technically in a state of war since the statehood of Israel in 1948.

Under the US-brokered deal, Israel will keep its control over the Karish gas field.

Israel would receive 17 per cent of the profits from the Qana natural gas field, which will be under Lebanese control.

Under the deal, the Qana field will be explored by the French energy giant Total.

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