Geological expert Dr. Ali Haidar
Beirut - Taqrib News Agency (TNA) - "Now Lebanon pay the price of his mistaken delay to take advantage of the process of prospecting oil wealth in the sea", what can be said about Lebanon's loss for this wealth, which passed on its discovery almost thirteen years, that made the Israeli enemy takes advantage of this period and tries to extract oil and natural gas not only the land of Palestine, but also extended to inside Lebanese territory.
Geological expert Dr. Ali Haider in an exclusive interview with Taqrib News Agency (TNA) has shed light on the prices paid by Lebanon to postpone exploiting oil resources of the region.
"Lebanon's delay in the extraction process is offering a greater share to Israel, including economic loss". "Lebanon is losing half of the the natural gas taken by Israel," he added.
Q: Negligence of the Lebanese state to the file the exploration and economic benefits (which exists already 10 years ago) of the oil with the file that generates funds to the Treasury is due to what reason? Unlike the enemy, who mobilizes all the energies in the process!
A: These words are accurate, on the first hand, there is a history to explore oil in Lebanon, 13 years ago I was in a scientific committee at the Ministry of Oil that was previously only administrative and we asked always for funding to accelerate the work and the request was rejected permanently by all governments. The Support that came from Syria by the late President Hafez Assad, who gave the orders to a Syrian oil company to help Lebanon in all various ways to extract oil and, in the Syrian-Lebanese Supreme Council there was a Lebanese-Syrian committee to deal with oil drilling in Lebanon.
And we went to Syria to look forward to the geological conditions that produced oil there and trying to identify similar geological conditions to discovery in Lebanon. This committee focused on the attempt of exploration on land, and other committee wrote a seismic report, after a seismic study in the sea that discovered alot of spots between 2000 and 2002 and were identified in the marine areas of exclusive economic zone of Lebanon and on these basis the Lebanese government contracted with the Norwegian company that made a two-dimensional scans that covered large parts of the Lebanese coast, the survey was selectively done and identified a range of areas and work on it in three-dimensional scans.
We know that Lebanon is rich in these reservoirs or oil focil and especially natural gas, there is an area very close to the occupied Palestine and in northern Lebanon, and also there is a common area with Cyprus, and there are two areas facing Beirut, one is 100% Lebanese and the other one is long distance away and shared with Cyprus.
This work was delayed a lot by the Lebanese state by not funding the commissions, now Lebanon pay the price of this monumental mistake, in addition the ministries were not active because the funding was weak, and result of these mistakes that Israel has activated a rapid process of exploration and drilling in the common fields that can begin to work before the Lebanese side.
Q: It is said that the demarcation of maritime borders makes the Israeli enemy steals the oil of Lebanon, What is the way to avoid this?
A: About the occupied Palestine field, "Israel" wants to say that it is fully under her, and she defends this argument by saying that Lebanon has the maps, but does not recognize it, for that I did a deep search at length in this area and found Israeli technology geology maps that shows the nature of the ground and the nature of water which lies east of the mediterranean, and another type of seismic maps that shows what is in the ground. Also there are business maps that cuts the marine side into parts whether it is the subject of business handling or no. If we look at the Israeli maps and the location of the field "Levitan," the disputed feel it is fully under the marine waters of occupied Palestine, but if we look at geological maps we see that this field does not fall completely there, that part of it is located in the Lebanese exclusive waters, this field is the largest discovery in the world of natural gas per the findings obtained in 2009.
The problem lies in two ideas: How do we extend the border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, and of course there is a line emanating from "Ra's al-Nakoura"towards the sea which form the maritime boundary, and if there was a deviation the north for some reason, this means expansion of the Israeli area on the expense of Lebanon, and since this line passes over the line of "Levitan", there is theft and loss of huge amounts of money and wealth from the Lebanese part of this field, it is required to extend this line in a technical and precise way to eliminate any deviation so that Lebanon can preserve all its natural resources shared between him and the occupied Palestine.
The Lebanese government has draw this line in the era of President Fouad Siniora, and then developed an agreement with Cyprus, commensurate with this line, but the current government re-considered the drawing, specifically the maritime area in "Naqoura", which is skewed more to the south, which means that to expand area of Lebanon more and more and that the the Lebanese part became a greater share in the field "Levitan".
The other part is the delay in the process of extraction of this wealth in the sea, whenever the delay of Lebanon in this process is greater, the share of "Israel" is greater. We are talking here about the timing of extraction in the sense that there is a common field and maritime borders, which pass over the field, and divides the border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, and if Israel has put its wells in the part of the occupied Palestine and began to extract while Lebanon did not put his wells yet, the wells located on the border in fact are not only extracting natural gas from the region of Palestine, but from the Lebanese side because the fluids and gases in the ground does not stop at the border, but slides out from one area to another according to the changing of pressure in the underground, and that means, these wells can withdraw wealth from Palestine and Lebanon as well.
What is known in such case is that the State adjacent wells on the principle of "Steal me, I steal you", Practically half of the natural gas taken by Israel is Lebanon's share, but the money goes to the Israeli pocket to buy arms to attack us. There are three dangers: that Israel put its wells, or to put platforms in the sea on the Palestinian side, but hoses of these platforms, slide down in the depths of water,and before they begin drilling in their area they go to the Lebanese area and dig there, and the third risk is that these hoses may start digging in a vertical from then in an horizontal form to steal the Lebanese wealth,and it is difficult to monitor these hoses and its extension in the sediment of the earth. Israel has plenty of technology and time to do what leads to a huge loss by the Lebanese side.
Q: How to ensure the right of Lebanon's oil wealth?
A: The border demarcation process has been done inspite the delay, it must be preserved but currently it is not well maintained because there are objects floating on the surface of water, developed by "Israel" and that represents to it the maritime border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine. These objects exist in the Lebanese border and "Israel" defends it fiercely, if the attack is existing in terms of the demarcation of the border.
As for the gas we heard the speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who gave the equation of "oil for oil". Therfore it is a must to clarify some technical issues related to it, of course, there must be a treaty but the timing of war is committed to this equation means that when Israel puts a platform and Lebanon discover it in his area or that the hoses of these platforms have began drilling on the Lebanese side, any type of these attacks must be answered quickly, because once the drilling process arrived at the natural gas deposits, it becomes difficult on the Resistance to hit these platforms because there is a danger of leakage similar to what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, and this wealth will be lost and this is what Resistance or Lebanon do not want, because there are environmental and economic loss.Thus the reaction must be done after the attack and before the access to natural gas.
Zainab Hawi - TNA - Beirut