Lebanon’s house speaker concerned about delays in oil, gas exploration

Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri sent a delegation to France to negotiate the “intentional delay” of Total in oil and gas exploration work in Lebanon’s waters, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

“I spoke over the phone with concerned parties with regard to this matter and I have sent a delegation to meet Total’s director and discuss this issue with him,” Berri said during his weekly meeting with his parliamentary bloc.

Berri also voiced his concerns as Total owns 40 percent of a Greek company that is currently doing oil and gas explorations on the borders in an area that overlaps with Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Total is one of the companies in a consortium that won contracts in 2017 to explore oil and gas in Lebanon’s maritime blocks 4 and 9. The other two companies are ENI and Novatek.

Total said the seismic study proved more complex than they expected after presenting their exploration plans to authorities in summer 2018.