In November 1999, a consortium comprised of Consolidated Contractors Limited (CCC), the British Gas Group (BG) and the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) concluded an agreement with the former President of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat for the development and commercialization of the Gaza Marine fields. The Gaza Marine is located 36 kilometers west of Gaza City in the Mediterranean Sea, 603 meters below sea level, within the contiguous zone attached to Palestinian territorial waters. In 1999, the Palestinian Authority granted a twenty-five year exploration license with 90 percent equity to British Gas. After receiving security clearance from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, BG drilled two wells in the Gaza Marine finding reserves estimated at 1.4 trillion cubic feet (tfc).
Since then, Israel has systematically prevented the occupied Palestinian population from developing their natural gas resources off the Gaza coast. In recent years large gas discoveries have been found off the coast of Israel including the Tamar and Leviathan fields. In order to develop and secure Israel's gas platforms bordering Palestinian territorial waters and gas export pipelines running through Palestine's continental shelf, Israel has inflicted a lethal naval closure of the Gaza Strip preventing Palestinian access to its Gaza Marine gas resources.