Prime Minister Najib Mikati asked French energy giant TotalEnergies to start gas exploration off Lebanon’s shores, after reaching a U.S.-mediated deal to settle the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.
Lebanon’s search for gas riches in the hydrocarbon-rich eastern Mediterranean had been delayed since 2020 due to competing claims with Israel over offshore gas fields.
Lebanon’s energy minister, Walid Fayad, said that “logistical matters take time, but work will start immediately”.
TotalEnergies is part of a consortium of energy giants awarded a license to explore for gas in two of Lebanon’s 10 blocks, numbers 4 and 9.
One well drilled in Block 4 in 2020 by TotalEnergies, Eni and Novatek showed only traces but no commercially viable gas deposits.
Block 9, near the border with Israel, contains the so-called Qana field or Sidon reservoir and will be a major zone for offshore exploration after a deal is finalized, according to Lebanese officials.