Following-up on our earlier blog post (available here), the leaders of both Israel and Lebanon have yesterday signed a historic deal delimiting their maritime boundaries, marking a new era for both countries and paving the way for further offshore energy exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. The accord will enter into force shortly, once the US sends both Lebanon and Israel a notice confirming their agreement to the deal, and will subsequently be deposited with the Secretary General of charts and lists of geographical coordinates of points under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Please visit our previous blog post to see the detailed terms of the deal.
Lebanon and Israel immediately started tapping into this deal’s immense potential: Lebanon has directed TotalEnergies to start exploration and drilling works in the Qana Field, with Israel having approved yesterday the beginning of production at the Karish field by London-based Energean. Going forward, this deal is likely to attract international focus into the region, with Qatar having already expressed interest in joining the consortium composed of TotalEnergies and Eni for the exploration of the Qana Field.
The deal is expected to remain intact despite potential changes of leadership in both Israel and Lebanon in the coming month. Stay tuned as we follow the developments of this deal in practice, and please contact Craig Tevendale, Partner, Isaac Zailer, Partner, Amal Bouchenaki, Partner, Cedric Saliba, Associate, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact for more information.