Economy News - Baghdad
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that Lebanon will start drilling for oil and gas in the sea today, Thursday, as the country is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis.
The head of the Petroleum Sector Management Authority in Lebanon had said earlier yesterday, Wednesday, that the results of the first exploration well are expected within the next two months.
Lebanon is located on the Levant basin in the eastern Mediterranean, where a number of large gas fields have been discovered under the sea since 2009, including the Lothian and Tamar fields in Israeli waters, which are located near a disputed maritime border with Lebanon.
A consortium of French Total, Italy's Eni and Russian Novatec signed an agreement with Lebanon in 2018 to explore oil and gas in two offshore blocks.
Achieving a disclosure in the energy field will give a huge boost to the distressed Lebanese economy, but it may take years for any treasury revenues to enter.
Aoun said in a televised speech yesterday evening Wednesday that Lebanon is witnessing "the most severe crisis in its history."
He praised Lebanon's first excavation work as a "historic" step that will constitute "the cornerstone of the climb from the abyss."
"We are determined to shoulder the responsibility of facing the wrong economic policies and successive and multiple accumulations, and putting an end to them with the aim of stopping the downward path that led us decades ago to what we are," he said.
Long overdue drilling begins with the drilling of the first well in Block 4, while preparation for wells on Block 9 is under way later in the year.
"It will take drilling ... two months. We hope that the result will be positive, so we find oil or gas in preparation for the second stage by drilling new wells and assessing the quantities That can be found .:
Raymond Ghajar, Minister of Energy and Water, said that the good results will be positive in relation to Lebanon's credit rating, but indicated that it may take years before extraction can be made from any disclosure.
He added that there are many requirements: the first is drilling, then finding oil or gas, then knowing the size of the reserves before identifying what can be extracted from them after two to four years.
Lebanon begins drilling for energy at sea
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