Iran offers to help Lebanon with energy

Aug. 8, 2011 at 8:27 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Iran is ready to help Lebanon advance the development of its oil and natural gas sector, the Iranian envoy to Beirut said.

Gahazanfar Rokn-Abadi, the Iranian envoy to Lebanon, said during a meeting with visiting Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassil that Tehran was ready to come to Lebanon's assistance.

"Iranian experts are capable (of working) with Lebanon on oil and gas exploration and extract(ion)," the envoy was quoted by the Iranian Students' News Agency as saying.

The Iranian report suggests that Israel occupied parts of Lebanon's maritime economic zone.

Noble Energy announced a "significant" natural gas discovery last year at the Leviathan field about 80 miles off the coast of Israel in the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The company estimated there are around 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves there.

Lebanon contends that a portion of Leviathan lies within its maritime borders.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel to stay away from the country's energy resources. Lebanon's energy ministry hails from the March 8 alliance, which includes Hezbollah members.

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