Lebanon has high chances of making an offshore energy discovery once drilling gets underway in December and its second licensing round is receiving lots of interest, the minister of energy and water said on Wednesday during an interview with Reuters.
Lebanon hopes an offshore energy discovery would give a big boost to its economy in the coming years. The country is in the eastern Mediterranean region where a number of sub-sea gas fields in Israeli, Cypriot and Egyptian waters have been discovered since 2009.
Lebanon awarded its first offshore gas and oil exploration and production agreements in 2018 to a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek for two blocks, No. 4 and 9.
“We have among the best companies worldwide working on it.
“Worldwide … the average is to drill three wells before having a discovery,” Boustani said, citing guidance from Total.
“So if we have it from our first well, it would be amazing.” Drilling of the first well was expected to begin in December and would take 55 days, she added.
The closing date for bids in the second licensing round is Jan. 31, 2020. “We are seeing lots of interest,” she said from firms including Malaysia’s Petronas, BP, Russia’s Lukoil and Gazprom.
US diplomats had also expressed interest though American firms had yet to be in touch.