Commenting on the Lebanese parliament’s interest in passing a hydrocarbon law quickly, Jubran Basil, the country’s Energy and Water Minister, said on 28 June: “We need to approve this quickly so we don’t lose time,” adding: “We will protect our rights with all our strength.” Earlier Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau had warned Beirut that Israel would use force to protect “the rule of law…and international maritime law,”. Offshore boundaries between Israel and Lebanon – as well as Israel and Cyprus – have yet to be determined, but relations between Cyprus and Israel are friendly. The Leviathan prospect is 130km west‐northwest of Haifa and is reported to lie close to Cypriot waters. Seismic acquisition in Cypriot and Lebanese water is being carried out by Norway’s Petroleum Geo‐
A paper prepared by PGS staff and posted on the internet in May 2009 said high‐quality 3D data show “several attractive large sub‐salt four‐way dip closures and new stratigraphic plays offshore Cyprus and Lebanon.” It added that “numerous DHI’s [direct hydrocarbon indicators] associated with the prospects indicate several active petroleum systems and reduce the exploration risk in this frontier region.” The US Geological Survey stated in a recent report that the Levant Basin in the East Mediterranean holds potential reserves of 1.7bn barrels of recoverable crude oil and 122 tcf (3.4 tcm) of recoverable natural gas. Most of those potential reserves lie in deep water.