BEIRUT — Energean, a London-based oil drilling and gas wells company, is on track to start production in the Karish natural gas field "within weeks," their CEO announced in a statement on Thursday.
In June, Israel deployed a floating production and storage vessel to the offshore field, causing tension with Lebanon.
Energean, which is listed on both the London and Tel Aviv stock exchanges, said their Karish North KN-01 development well "was successfully drilled and completed in early August 2022." Completion of a second oil train is expected by the end of 2023.
"Our flagship Karish project is on track to start production within weeks and will enhance energy security in Israel and the region", Energean said.
The announcement follows the resumption of indirect maritime border negotiations between Israel and Lebanon after negotiations were suspended for months. The American envoy Amos Hochstein, who supervises the indirect negotiations, will visit Beirut on Friday.
Washington has not made any official announcement on the matter.
During a June meeting with Hochstein, Beirut proposed granting Israel control of the entire Karish gas field in exchange for Lebanese sovereignty over the entire Qana field, further north— a deal that Israel does not seem ready to endorse.
In July, Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil announced a favorable view of Hezbollah’s role in the maritime border dispute with Israel, following a statement by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declaring that his party is “militarily and financially capable of preventing [Israel] from extracting [gas] from the disputed Karish field and all [Israel's] measures will not be capable of protecting its floating platform.”
Nasrallah also warned: “If the extraction of oil and gas starts [from Israel] in September before Lebanon gets its rights, we are going to a fight.”