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In the opening ceremony of the Second Lebanon Oil and Gas Conference held last December in Beirut, Jerome Ferrier, the president of the International Gas Union, made an important and audacious remark: Lebanon's gas reserves had to be viewed as part and parcel of the Eastern Mediterranean reserves. He stated that the marketing of Lebanon's resources hinged on forming a consortium with Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. In the absence of such cooperation, gas exports would be either impossible or too costly for Lebanon.Unlike Lebanon, Israeli domestic demand for natural gas is substantial, its electricity production being seven times that of Lebanon.Israel's pursuit of an independent export capacity comes at the expense of Lebanon and Cyprus. Lebanon's gas is crucial if a joint export project is to be considered. With no regional venues for export, Lebanon's hydrocarbon industry is not appealing.For this to happen, Cyprus in all likelihood will become dependent on Israeli gas, leaving Lebanon with limited export options.
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