Israel to activate Karish rig and begin extraction ‘very soon’: Report
Lebanon is awaiting a response from US mediator Amos Hochstein, as Israel rejects the country’s amendments to the deal and orders its military to prepare for war
By News Desk - October 07 2022

(Photo credit: Times of Israel)

Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom reported on 7 October that Israel is planning on activating the Karish gas rig, and will start operating experimentally before the official extraction of gas begins, which the report says will be “very soon.”

Last month, Israel announced its plan to connect the Karish rig to its own pipeline network in order to test the platform’s pumping systems.

These tests are expected to take place in the coming days, possibly as early as 9 October, the report states, and will precede the start of official gas extraction.

“At this stage, the operation will be experimental and the gas will flow from the shore to the mobile rig, at a distance of about 100 km. In the following days, the pumping itself and the gas flow from the reservoir to the shore will begin,” the newspaper reported.

This operation “will take place in accordance with professional and technical considerations only, and regardless of Nasrallah’s threats,” it added.

The Israeli report comes one day after interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced Israel’s rejection of the Lebanese comments and requested amendments to the maritime deal.

Lebanon is expecting to receive the official response on the matter from the US mediator in the maritime negotiations, Amos Hochstein, within the same day.

“Lebanon doesn’t give an ear to media leaks but rather to facts that are supposed to be announced by the US mediator whom we exclusively hold contacts with … What’s going on now are Israeli electoral and local skirmishes that we are not concerned with,” Lebanon’s Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, said on 7 October.

Berri added that these amendments were minor, and have been discussed with the US negotiator before being delivered.

Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, said on the same day that Lebanon “is awaiting the outcome of the contact Hochstein is making with the Israeli side” on the issue, adding that the response will “determine the course of the indirect negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime borders.”

Amid this setback in reaching a final agreement, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the Israeli military on 6 October to prepare for a possible war with Hezbollah in the north of Israel.

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