Qatar joins France, Italy in Lebanon’s offshore oil, gas exploration

Qatar signed an agreement with Lebanon on Sunday to join the consortium of France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s ENI for oil and gas exploration in two blocks in the Lebanese territorial waters, state-owned TV channel Tele Liban reported.

Qatar would participate in the consortium with a 30 percent stake, according to Qatari Minister of Energy Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, while TotalEnergies and ENI will have a share of 35 percent each.

“This agreement is important for Qatar, which gives our country a chance to support economic development in Lebanon,” Al-Kaabi said.

Looking forward to a long-term partnership with the companies in more maritime blocks, Lebanese caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad hoped that discoveries in Lebanon’s territorial waters would help his country develop its economy and achieve its strategic goals.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of TotalEnergies, said the environmental assessment will start this week and end by mid-2023.

“We hope to find results by the end of this year,” he added.

Lebanon and Israel finalized a U.S.-brokered maritime border demarcation deal last October after years of negotiations, paving the way for the two countries to explore oil and gas in their waters. ■

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