Israel has signed an initial agreement with TotalEnergies and Eni to begin exploring natural gas within the framework of a historic maritime border agreement with Lebanon.

“The Block 9 partners will initiate the exploration of an already identified prospect which might extend both in Block 9 and into Israel waters south of the recently established maritime borderline,” TotalEnergies said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

According to Lior Schillat, director-general of Israel’s Energy Ministry, the agreement will “allow the development of a gas reservoir that crosses the border between enemy states, an unusual event in the global energy market.”

The agreement focused on resolving a dispute over a potential gas field in Lebanon’s offshore Block 9, which extends into Israeli waters. With a 60% stake, TotalEnergies operates Block 9, and Eni owns 40%.

Last month, Lebanese and Israeli leaders finalized a maritime demarcation agreement brokered by the U.S., bringing a measure of accommodation between the adversaries.

JNS

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