Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib and Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov announced at a press conference the creation of conditions for the modernization and enlargement of Rosneft’s oil product storage terminal at the port of Beirut.
“A large project is being implemented by Rosneft, which owns a terminal for the storage of oil products in the port of Beirut,” Lavrov announced, adding that “there are already concrete plans to modernize and expand this terminal.”
According to the statement shared by Russian media, the Lebanese Energy Ministry welcomes submissions of proposals to participate in that project.
Aside from Rosneft, another Russian company has been operating in Lebanon. Novatek, as noted by Lavrov, “is engaged in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and plans to drill another well in the offshore area early next year.”
Russia has already expanded its ties in Lebanon’s oil and gas section as its interest in Lebanon is tied to its regional strategy.
Since 2016, the Russian state-owned Rosneft steadily expanded its operation into Egypt, Iraq, and Libya. In 2018, it signed with Lebanon’s Energy Ministry a contract of operations and service.
This was to rehabilitate, expand, and operate oil storage facilities in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli.
Earlier, in December 2017, the Lebanese government granted its first contracts for offshore oil and gas exploration to a consortium of 3 firms, which included Novatek, Russia’s second-largest gas company.
Russia has entered the energy market in Lebanon through its state-owned oil companies.
For some Lebanese, Russia is seen as a force that can provide stability. It had offered security and military coordination and investments in Lebanon’s underdeveloped energy sector.