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      New Gas Find May Escalate Tension with Lebanon

      Israel has discovered a new off-shore gas field, this time even closer to Lebanon, which warns it will go to war over gas finds.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 2/8/2012, 2:37 PM

      Israel has discovered a new off-shore gas field, this time even closer to Lebanon, which warns it will go to war to defend its claim on gas finds.

      The new field, dubbed “Tanin I,” is north of the giant Tamar field, both of them located off the Haifa cost. Lebanon has gone to the United Nations to claim that Israel is stealing its gas, arguing that the fields are within its maritime borders, and the new find is even closer to Lebanon.

      The Tamar and Leviathan gas field discoveries are expected to allow Israel to energy self-sufficient and even an exporter of natural gas within in three years. The Tanin find swells the expectations even further – but also escalates the danger of a confrontation with Lebanon and Hizbullah, which effectively controls southern Lebanon.

      Israeli energy activities in Cyprus also may further damage ties with Turkey, which claims sovereignty over approximately one-third of the country.

      A further bonanza may be oil, which has been found under the gas fields but has not yet been quantified as being commercially viable.

      Israel also is believed to be sitting on approximately $250 billion worth of shale oil, but environmental concerns may prevent exploiting the reserves, leaving Israel with a possible awkward choice of war with Lebanon or with environmentalists.