QatarEnergy Acquires 30% Stake in Lebanon's Offshore Gas Exploration

QatarEnergy Acquires 30% Stake in Lebanon's Offshore Gas Exploration

/ Financial News / Monday, 30 January 2023 07:21

QatarEnergy entered into agreements with the Government of Lebanon, TotalEnergies and Eni to become a partner in two offshore exploration blocks for the Republic of Lebanon.

The agreement greenlights Lebanon's exploration of its southern Qana, or Sidon, reservoir following the signing of the landmark deal last October demarcating its maritime borders with long-time enemy Israel. Lebanon divided its exclusive economic zone at sea into 10 "blocks," and block nine was part of the area disputed with Israel.

The deal will see the gas-rich Gulf country's state-run QatarEnergy receive a minority 30% stake in Blocks 4 and 9, marking QatarEnergy’s first exploration endeavor in Lebanon.

French company TotalEnergies and Italy's Eni will both retain their respective 35% stakes in the blocks after Russia's Novatek relinquished its minority stake in 2022. 

Also Read:  TotalEnergies, Eni to Explore Gas on Lebanese Offshore

Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad and his Qatari counterpart, Saad al-Kaabi, who is also QatarEnergy's chief executive, signed the deal, along with Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

Al-Kaabi thanked the government of Lebanon and the Ministry of Energy and Water for their support, saying: “I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the Government of Lebanon, represented by His Excellency Dr. Walid Fayad, the Minister of Energy and Water, and the teams at the ministry and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration for the valuable support and cooperation that led to this milestone.”

Block 9 has a total area of 1,749 square kilometers and lies about 80 kilometers off the coast of southern Lebanon in water depths of approximately 1,700 meters, while block 4 has a total area of 1,911 square kilometers and is located in water depths of about 1,500 meters.

Under a United States-brokered accord, Lebanon and Israel — which are officially still at war — delimited their maritime borders in October 2022.

The accord paved the way for Lebanon to begin exploration in the Qana reservoir — which is partly located inside Israel's territorial waters — in return for compensation payments.

According to energy consultant Naji Abi Aad, "Qatar's entry into the consortium is above all politically significant."

He told AFP that Doha's involvement "brings a political guarantee" as Lebanon grapples with deep economic, political and social crises.

Lebanon has been caught in an economic quagmire that has plunged much of its population into poverty and is described by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern history.

Latest Issue

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.