The Daily Star
Lebanon and Norway signed a 3-year agreement Tuesday under which Oslo would support the Lebanese government’s efforts to develop its infant oil and gas sector.A Lebanese Foreign Ministry statement said the agreement was signed between Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Energy Minister Arthur Nazarian, and Norway’s Foreign Ministry State Secretary Bard Pederson.The signing ushered in the second phase of the “oil for development” project under which Norway will offer technical support to the Lebanese Petroleum Administration and pertinent ministries, including the energy, environment and finance ministries.
Nazarian said Lebanon will benefit from Norway’s know-how and expertise in order to manage its oil resources in the most sustainable and profitable way.“The Norwegian government was quick to respond to Lebanon’s demand for more expertise (in the oil sector),” Nazarian said at the signing ceremony at Palis Boustros, the seat of Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry.Pederson praised the “great cooperation” existing between Lebanon and Norway, stressing that his country “will transfer all its oil expertise to Lebanon to enable it to manage its oil resources in a way that would bring great benefits to all the Lebanese people.”
Norway has been involved in helping develop Lebanon’s oil and gas sector since 2006. However, Lebanon is falling behind its neighbors, Cyprus and Israel, in exploring its offshore oil and gas resources because of persisting disagreements among its political leaders, which many fear would discourage international oil exploration firms.