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Lebanon wants Total-led consortium to drill new well

Person, Human, Pipeline Reuters/Pascal Rossignol
The consortium drilling in Block 9 includes the Italian energy group Eni and the state-owned QatarEnergy
  • First well fails to find enough gas
  • Economic crisis adds pressure
  • New licensing round ‘at right time’

Lebanon wants a consortium led by TotalEnergies to drill another well at offshore Block 9 quickly, after a first well did not find enough natural gas to be commercialised, the country’s energy minister, Walid Fayad, told Reuters.

The consortium drilling in Block 9 also includes the Italian energy group Eni and the state-owned QatarEnergy.

Fayad, speaking on the sidelines of an energy conference in Italy, said: “They drilled in one single location in Block 9, they have the obligation to do another well, but the obligation comes later in time.

“We will try to convince TotalEnergies, Eni and QatarEnergy to drill a second well in Block 9 as early as possible, starting maybe early next year.”

Block 9 is one of the blocks falling alongside the newly delineated maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

Fayad said: “We have 10 [exploration] blocks, eight of which are still available. At the right time we will open a third licensing round, but for that you need some geopolitical stability to attract players.”

Lebanon hopes gas and oil discoveries will help it reverse a crippling economic crisis that has driven the local currency down more than 98 percent in value, eroded the country’s foreign reserves and caused rolling blackouts across towns and cities.