Sea Border Dispute 'Between Israel-Lebanon' - Minister
"It doesn't influence our agreement with Israel or Block 12...we have moved within the law of the sea," he said in comments to state television.
Nonetheless, the government is looking into Lebanon's letter to the UN which says that an agreement on the sea border between Cyprus and Israel is a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty.
"We'll see what they want and we're sure we'll find a solution," said Paschalides.
As Noble Energy prepares to start drilling in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone in September to find undersea gas and oil reserves, Lebanon's new foreign minister Adnan Mansour said that last year's agreement between Cyprus and Israel is "a violation of Lebanon's sovereignity and economic rights and threatens peace and security in the region."
Mansour asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to help define Lebanon's maritime borders and prevent any conflict arising from Israel's offshore hydrocarbons exploration. On a related issue, Lebanon's parliament has not yet approved a proposed agreement between Cyprus and Lebanon to confirm sea borders between the countries.
Risks ahead for offshore oil, gas exploitation
Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war; as are Cyprus and Turkey - which has threatened to take action if the Republic of Cyprus goes ahead with undersea hydrocarbons exploitation without including the Turkish-Cypriot community. As it stands, Turkey said that the agreement between Israel and Cyprus is null and void. But foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou's response to Turkey is that it is Cyprus' sovereign right to explore its own natural resources.
Noble Energy has an exploratory license for Block 12, which lies in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone and could contain 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. During a recent visit to Cyprus, a Noble Energy official said that natural gas could be delivered from Block 12 by 2014.