Italian energy company Eni announced it was awarded three exploration blocks in the deep waters off Cyprus.
The Lebanese and Cypriot governments have agreed to increase cooperation in the offshore natural gas sector, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said.
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias announced plans to examine offshore Lebanon oil and natural gas potential during a trip to Beirut this week.
The European Union this week adopted a new "Blue Economy" agenda aimed at creating new jobs in the ocean renewable energy and other maritime sectors.
Israeli planes reportedly buzzed a Turkish ship exploring for natural gas off Cyprus amid a tense confrontation over the region's rich offshore gas reserves.
The presidents of the Greek and Turkish sections of Cyprus returned to the negotiating table Tuesday after a three-week hiatus.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias tried to revitalize his government and reach out to the opposition but was left with a new Cabinet much like the old one.
A war of words has developed between the Greek Cypriot president and the leader of the island's Orthodox church over its tax status.
Cyprus peace talks set for Thursday were postponed after a Greek Cypriot pilgrimage to the island's Turkish Cypriot north was canceled, Greek Cypriots said.
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met Wednesday for United Nations-sponsored talks aimed at unifying the island.
United Press International