Lebanon’s offshore oil exploration to begin on Thursday –official

Lebanon’s offshore oil exploration to begin on Thursday –official
Published: 26 February 2020 - 7:45 a.m.
The Lebanese government has announced that work will begin on Thursday for offshore oil exploration off the country’s coast by a consortium lead by France’s Total.

Agriculture Minister Abbas Murtada said the Tungsten Explorer is expected to dock in Beirut on Tuesday and will start exploration operations in the area No. 4 off Lebanon.

The consortium, which includes Italy’s Eni and Russia's Novatek, obtained its licence in February 2018.Exploration was due to start mid-January.

The delay, according to Lebanese ministry sources, was due to the country's institutional and economic crisis.

Lebanon is set take critical steps in the coming months which will ultimately determine if it is to join the ranks of East Mediterranean countries with offshore gas reserves.

If gas does eventually either come ashore in Lebanon, then the focus will be on what happens to the revenue.The role of oil and gas companies, governments and civil society will be critical for the future of the country, in terms of limiting corruption risks and ensuring good governance.

Enhancing transparency and accountability mechanisms in the country’s oil and gas sector will be the key steps for a strong and developed Lebanon.

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