TotalEnergies-Led Group To Drill Offshore Lebanon
The new well in offshore Bloc 9 is expected to wrap up by year-end.
A consortium led by TotalEnergies will start drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Lebanon at the beginning of September, the country’s Caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad said, according to Reuters. The consortium, which includes partners Eni and QatarEnergy, has assigned a rig for the offshore southern bloc known as Bloc 9.
“The rig will start working in Lebanon in September ... before the end of the year we will know if there is a discovery,” Fayyad told reporters at the World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi.
Lebanon formally delineated its maritime border with Israel in October after years of mediated talks. Fayyad said a potential discovery could impact whether a deadline for applications to explore in eight additional offshore blocs is extended yet again, past June.
“I have been hearing from players in the field that they are keen to see the result of the drilling in Bloc 9 before they make decisions as to further investments or commitments in Lebanon,” he told reporters.
The minister said Lebanon would aim to boost imports from Iraq by bumping up the volume of an existing swap deal and through new commercial agreements.
Lebanon and Iraq have already renewed an annual deal that allows Beirut to import 1.0 million tonnes of heavy fuel oil per year that it then swaps for gas. In exchange, Iraq has access to Lebanese healthcare and other services.