Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends a special cabinet meeting to approve the US-brokered deal setting a maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, at the Prime Minister s office in Jerusalem on October 27, 2022. AFP
Standing at the Karish rig, where gas production started on Wednesday, Lapid said the natural gas field "is the energy and economic future" of Israel.
"From here flows the gas that promises a lower cost of living," he said in a video statement, adding revenues from gas production would "lower energy prices in Israel, turn Israel into a regional energy supplier, and help Europe take on its energy crisis."
Energean, a London-headquartered energy giant, holds gas production rights from Karish. Natural gas from the field has been "providing electricity to customers in Israel since last weekend," according to a separate statement released by Lapid's office on Sunday.
The maritime deal, signed on Thursday, sets a sea boundary between Israel and Lebanon, which have been technically in a state of war since the statehood of Israel in 1948.
Under the US-brokered deal, Israel will keep its control over the Karish gas field. Israel would receive 17 percent of the profits from the Qana natural gas field, which will be under Lebanese control.
Under the deal, the Qana field will be explored by the French energy giant Total.