The eastern Mediterranean Sea has become a very busy place, and pressure abounds among coastal neighbors there. Governments are declaring exclusive economic zones (EEZs), but they overlap. States are granting duplicate licenses for natural gas exploration and drilling. Mammoth energy corporations and coastal states are signing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of hydrocarbon agreements. Frequent maritime safety broadcasts are informing of endless military exercises.
Israel and Lebanon are on edge over hydrocarbon reserves. Lebanon awarded bids last month to France’s Total SA, Italy’s Eni SpA and Russia’s Novatek to drill for oil and gas in Blocks 4 and 9 within Lebanon’s EEZ. Israel doesn’t recognize these bids and claims that all of Block 9 is within its EEZ.