Lebanon Begins Offshore Oil, Gas Exploration

Lebanon’s search for its first oil and gas reserves began May 29 after authorities approved an exploration plan submitted by a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.

Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil also said in a televised statement that Lebanon hoped to launch a second offshore licensing round by the end of 2018 or early 2019.

In February, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas E&P agreements with the Total-Eni-Novatek consortium for offshore blocks 4 and 9. Part of Block 9 contains waters disputed with neighboring Israel, but the consortium has said it has no plans to drill in the disputed area.

Khalil said authorities gave the go ahead May 28 for exploration of the two blocks to begin.