The Lebanese Ministry of Energy denied Israeli reports that said Lebanon will be importing Israeli gas through Egypt.
“The Ministry of Energy and Water confirms that the gas supply agreement that is being worked on between the Lebanese government and the sisterly Egyptian government clearly and explicitly stipulates that the gas should come from Egypt, which owns large quantities of it, and consumes within the same country more than a hundred times what it will provide to Lebanon,” a statement issued by the ministry emphasized.
“Therefore, Egypt will provide Lebanon with a small part of its production… [which] will pass through the sisterly country of Jordan, and then to Syria… and a similar amount of gas will be supplied according to the [transit and exchange] agreement from the fields and gas network in Homs to reach the Deir Ammar power station in the North, for additional electricity supply to the Lebanese citizens,” it added.
Lebanon, which is grappling with a deep financial crisis, is seeking to import energy from fellow Arab states to ease an acute power shortage.
Under a plan agreed between Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Syria in September, Egyptian gas would be piped to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria to help boost Lebanon's power output, which now delivers a few hours a day of electricity at best.
Israeli media said the gas will be extracted from Israel's Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs.
They added that US special envoy for energy, Amos Hochstein was behind the agreement.
The Lebanese ministry stressed that the information released by Israel “is totally and completely untrue.”
The US ambassador to Lebanon told the Lebanese government last week it should not fear a US sanctions law over its plans to receive energy supplies from the region.
The plan, which has US backing, aims to pump the gas through an Arab pipeline established about 20 years ago.
However, the plan has been complicated by US sanctions on the Syrian government, under President Bashar al-Assad, prompting Lebanese officials to ask Washington to grant an exemption. Damascus has said it was ready to cooperate.