Oil and gas articles

Long road ahead as Lebanon begins exploratory drilling for offshore oil and gas

Long road ahead as Lebanon begins exploratory drilling for offshore oil and gas

Reading Time: 3 minutes Drilling of Lebanon’s first offshore well started on February 27. All eyes are pinned on Byblos 1, waiting to find out whether it is a dry or a commercial well. It will take at least three or four months before there will be a conclusive result, however. What is critical to understand is that this

An investigation into the revenues from Lebanon’s seismic data

Reading Time: 3 minutes One of the major obstacles that post-war Lebanon has faced is the absence of adequate transparency tools that, if there, would have lead to greater public accountability. Access to information has been limited, and mandatory disclosure mechanisms are verging on nonexistent. Such limitations have encouraged many forms of corruption. Despite the fact that the past

Oil and gas will not save Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes As Lebanon races to enter the new oil producers club, decision-makers display a dangerous tendency to put all hopes on this uncertain sector and label it as the economic savior. This goes against the advice of Lebanese experts who have been warning against a “presource” curse  (the underperformance of economic growth after a commercial discovery,

Oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean

Reading Time: 10 minutes This year saw the translation of international oil companies’ interest in the Eastern Mediterranean—following the discovery of Zohr, in Egypt, in 2015—into concrete projects, and the confirmation of the region’s potential, with a new and promising discovery in Cyprus. Egypt received its final liquified natural gas (LNG) shipment in September and is aspiring to become

How far can Lebanon go with transparency measures in its oil and gas sector?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Last year, Lebanon signed two contracts to explore potential oil and gas resources in its offshore waters. It took the authorities nearly four years to close the country’s first offshore licensing round, with the two contracts awarded to a consortium of companies—France’s Total, Italy’s ENI, and Russia’s Novatek—for two blocks, one in Lebanon’s northern waters

Lebanon’s second licensing round

Reading Time: 5 minutes Preparations for the launching of Lebanon’s second offshore oil and gas licensing round have begun. The regulator, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), has published a tentative timeline for the tender, which will be officially launched at the end of 2018. The process, including the pre-qualification phase, will extend over a period of one year. The

Aphrodite’s blues

Reading Time: 4 minutes As the final preparations for the May 8 trilateral summit between the heads of state of Cyprus, Israel, and Greece were being laid out—the fourth such summit in just over two years, with so far, more words than actions—news broke that Cyprus and Israel might resort to international arbitration to resolve a dispute over Aphrodite,

Don’t get caught up in the hype

Reading Time: 5 minutes It is tempting for resource-poor countries to overestimate the promise of newly discovered hydrocarbon resources, particularly in times of need. Cyprus’ experience after the discovery of the Aphrodite gas field in late 2011 is revealing. Back then, during a time of economic crisis, many placed unrealistic expectations on this potential offshore wealth, hoping  it would

The petroleum legislative framework for Lebanon

Reading Time: 5 minutes Now that Lebanon has signed the first two exploration and production agreements (EPAs) for offshore oil and gas, companies will prepare the groundwork to start drilling at the beginning of 2019. This achievement is a long time coming. The first oil-related legislation, the Offshore Petroleum Resources Law, was enacted in 2010; the sector’s regulator, the

Troubled waters

Reading Time: 6 minutes A comment made by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a Tel Aviv conference on January 31 sparked outrage in Lebanon, bringing the issue of the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel back into the spotlight and catching Washington’s attention once again. The Obama administration started mediating between Lebanon and Israel to help contain