Lebanon hoping for offshore exploration upturn

Rystad Energy forecasts an upsurge in exploration activity offshore Lebanon and Israel over the next few years.

Overview of exploration licenses offshore Lebanon.
Overview of exploration licenses offshore Lebanon.
Courtesy Rystad Energy

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Rystad Energy forecasts an upsurge in exploration activity offshore Lebanon and Israel over the next few years.

Lebanon’s government estimates potential gas reserves in frontier areas in the East Mediterranean could total around 25 tcf.

Total is preparing to drill its first exploratory well off Lebanon around the turn of the year.

In addition, the government hopes to attract further oil companies with its second offshore licensing round, covering Blocks 1, 2, 5, 8, and 10.

“The lack of exploration in the area at present is due to a combination of two factors; insufficient technical understanding of the acreage, and increasing political unrest,” said Palzor Shenga, a senior analyst on Rystad’s upstream team.

“The deadline for submitting offers is next month, which makes things a bit tricky for interested companies. Some early birds may cash in during the current favorable fiscal regime, while others will wait to make their bets until results are more assured.”

“This investment upsurge in the coming years will likely be driven by new drilling contracts, licensing awards, and future bid rounds,” added Taiyab Zain Shariff, another Rystad analyst.

“Most of the spending in Lebanon will be driven by offshore deep and frontier areas, which are believed to hold similar petroleum systems as seen in neighboring countries.”

“Nevertheless, it will still take more than a decade before those involved enjoy the fruits of their labor,” said Shenga. “It will still take years to develop the infrastructure required to produce and distribute any additional reserves found offshore Lebanon.”

12/11/2019


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