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Lebanon says Israel could access its offshore oil

Updated at: 07/05/2013 1:06 PM
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(AP) BEIRUT - A Beirut official says Israel’s discovery of a new offshore gas field near Lebanese territorial waters means the Jewish state could siphon some of Lebanon’s crude oil.

Outgoing energy minister Gibran Bassil said on Friday that Israel could _ "in principle" _ drill either vertically or horizontally in its new field, potentially reaching Lebanon’s deposits if the two nations’ fields are joined at the sea bottom.

Israel’s new field is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Lebanon’s territorial waters.

Bassil urged Lebanon’s outgoing government to hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify decrees paving way for the country to start oil and gas explorations.

Recent Israeli discoveries of oil and gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea have raised tensions between Lebanon and Israel, which technically are in a state of war.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)