Lebanon Looks To Lure Oil, Gas Investors To Mediterranean

lebanon offshore oil, gas blocksHOUSTON—Slowed by a political gridlock and unresolved boundary disputes, Lebanon has stood on the sidelines watching massive natural gas discoveries such as Leviathan, Aphrodite and Karish sprout from deepwater Mediterranean areas in its neighbors’ jurisdictions.

But the country, bordered by Syria to the north and Israel to the south, wants in on the action in hopes of boosting its economy, securing energy resources and attracting long-term foreign investment.

“We want to make this sector a success story for the Lebanese,” Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil said July 6 during an event hosted by the Mayer Brown law firm’s Houston office.

The ministry is on a roadshow showcasing five offshore blocks—three of which are located along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. It is offering exploration and production agreements to investors as part of the country’s first offshore licensing round. Admittedly late to the game, with oil and gas produced offshore neighboring countries for decades, Khalil said Lebanon has benefited from the experience of others in developing what he called an attractive legal framework.

Lebanese energy officials hope its domestic gas demand, proximity to European markets with export options via the Arab Gas Pipeline, an offshore shallow-water pipeline and resource potential will attract investors. But they acknowledge challenges that could give investors pause—no exploratory drilling has occurred in offshore blocks, though wells have been drilled onshore; there is insufficient infrastructure offshore; political factors exist; and lower commodity prices remain.

 

Restart

Lebanon’s energy ministry is picking up where it left off when a political impasse left the country without a president for about two years, stalling its oil and gas E&P efforts as parliament debated action.

“We have been delayed, but this is the price of democracy you have to pay,” said Khalil. “When the milestones coincide with parliamentary elections, presidential elections, formations of government, it has taken more time than it was supposed to. But now, as I said, we have passed all those milestones.”

Companies that prequalified in 2013 to participate in the licensing round may still participate, if eligibility criteria are met. Since then another pre-qualification round was opened. In all, more than 50 companies have pre-qualified to participate. The round was relaunched earlier this year.

levant gas discoveries

Lebanon is seeking bids from consortia comprised of one operator holding a minimum 35% stake and at least two unaffiliated right holders, each with a minimum 10% stake. Bid requirements include the submittal of a technical proposal describing planned exploration and seismic work and a commercial proposal containing the percentage of state share of profit petroleum and the cost petroleum recovery ceiling. Although each item will be independently evaluated, the commercial proposal is weighted at 70%.

The local content percentage is 80%. The minister seemed confident the local workforce is capable, but said the percentage would not be a deal breaker.

The ministry’s job now is to make sure interested companies submit bids by the Sept. 15 deadline, Khalil said, adding the high level of interest speaks to region’s offshore potential.

Rock

Lebanon has 3-D seismic data that covers more than 85% of its offshore territory and 2-D seismic covers it all, energy officials said.

The northernmost block offered—Block 1 with depths ranging from 1,500 m to 2,000 m—is believed to be oil and gas prone. While Block 4, located in shallow water closer to the Lebanese coastline, is believed to hold more natural gas. Of the three southern blocks—blocks 8, 9 and 10—the latter is most prospective for oil.

“We have high probabilities of oil and associated liquids. We have many seeps that have been recorded with satellite photos. We have superimposed those seeps on our seismic scans,” the minister explained.

Looking at the geology of discoveries in the region, Wissam Chbat, chairman of the board and head of geology and geophysics for the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, pointed out proven oil and gas petroleum systems offshore areas such as Syria and Cyprus. He also noted the mature stage of conventional plays in the Levant Basin, saying the creaming curve was flattening before Eni’s gigantic Zohr gas discovery offshore Egypt in 2015.

“Every time we have stagnation in discoveries … this means you have to think differently in exploration terms or you have to address new types of plays,” Chbat said.

Lebanon has a “complex geology but a very rewarding one.” Basin modeling indicates biogenic gas and thermogenic hydrocarbon potential. The offshore acreage includes structural and stratigraphic plays. “In the area we have Late Cretaceous new play concept, Oligo-Miocene—which is a proven play type in the region, and recently with the stratigraphic plays we have proven carbonates,” Chbat said.

Looking at Late Cretaceous anticlines in Block 1, he said gas chimneys in the Pliocene indicate gas leakage due to the absence of Messinian. He also pointed out hydrocarbon indicators in Block 4, where gas chimney correlates with a medium-certainty seep. Farther south, Block 9—about 6 km northeast of the Karish Field—shows Late Miocene transpressive anticlines. The block could hold gas-filled reservoirs and possible hydrocarbon migration from deep thermogenic source rocks.

Lebanon hopes to make a commercial discovery by 2019, Khalil said.

But boundary issues could pose challenges, particularly in the country’s southern exclusive economic zone border.

Rights

Lebanon’s shared maritime border with Israel has been an ongoing point of contention. The disputed region covers more than 300 sq miles, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The U.S. has served as a mediator between the two.

“Lebanon has a sovereign right to exploit all of its reserves,” Khalil said, adding the geological structures were formed long before political boundaries were set.

Lebanon has drilling prospects farther north, but interest appears to be the highest in the south. Southern acreage had the highest nomination rates by the oil and gas companies for inclusion in the licensing, he said, noting companies are aware of boundary concerns.

Still, hopes are high offshore.

“We rely on exploration and production to be the main driver of our economy,” Khalil said.” We hope we will be able to achieve the aspirations of the Lebanese people.”

Winners of the blocks will be announced Nov. 15. Lebanon hopes to award four blocks.

“Lebanon’s government estimates that there are potential natural gas reserves of 25 trillion cubic feet or more located in its offshore territory,” the EIA said in a report on Lebanon. “But until more exploration occurs, that figure remains speculative.”

As of April 28, results of the second prequalification round listed ONGC Videsh Ltd. as an operator and PJSC Lukoil, Sapurakencana Energy, Sonatrach, Qatar Petroleum, Petropars, JSC Novatek and New Age (African Global Energy) as non-operators.

EPMAG

  • MekensehParty

    As I’ve said many times before, Lebanon will get its oil & gas wealth out when they’ll have electricity 24/7: NEVER!

    • Hannibal

      nata2 Zakaria.

      • MekensehParty

        darat el ahbal

        • Hannibal

          w shammon le 7maar Mekbarty

          • MekensehParty

            yeah, several thousand miles away
            you shouldn’t be proud of that
            try not eating too much shit and your square farts wont smell that bad

          • MekensehParty

            PS: dahyeh’s sewers residents called Nasrallah, they’re suffocating since Hannibal moved in

          • MekensehParty

            PS2: Shit protest in Tripoli. Southern winds are bringing Hannibal’s smell, overwhelming their own stink. “Wayn el dawle?”

          • MekensehParty

            PS3: Camden skunks breath a sigh of relief: “Thank God Hani left for Dahyeh!” They tell reporter

          • MekensehParty

            PS4: Last time Hani was being sentenced for theft the judge screamed: “Odor in the court”

          • MekensehParty

            PS5: Last time baby Hany was playing in a sandbox, a cat came and buried him.

          • MekensehParty

            PS6: last last one: Hezbollah gave Hani a house in Dahyeh so that they use his bath water to develop chemical weapons.
            Wahahahahahahaha

          • MekensehParty

            PS7: damn they keep coming: Hani was walking in Camden and a hobo gave him a soap
            yek yek yek

          • MekensehParty

            PS8: In 2009 in Tehran, the IRGC filled their tear gas bombs with Hani’s farts. Revolution failed.

          • MekensehParty

            PS9: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty woke up when little Hani watched the movie.

          • MekensehParty

            PS10: First ever talking toilet in Camden screams “Mercy” every time Hani flushes.

          • MekensehParty

            Every time I type “Hani” my keyboard auto-corrects it to “yukk”

          • vs

            Please, Mek, Arzna ask me not use bad words, but i have no monopoly on insults and hope Hannibal and Co. will be corrected and will be spiritual fertilization instead of mental masturbation and hate here:)

          • Hannibal

            Did you already pack foreigner?

          • MekensehParty

            Trying to find a square inch in the world that your stink can’t reach

          • Hannibal

            Reply to all of the above: You are as dumb as f#ck but you already know that… ;P

          • MekensehParty

            Hahaha you gave my whole office a great laugh today. Productivity skyrocketed after they all gathered and read it all. You’re a star here now.
            Thanks yukk

          • MekensehParty

            I mean H a n i

          • Hannibal

            Typical Lebanese… Ethics zero. You browse the web trolling on company time? I would have fired your a$$ by now.

          • MekensehParty

            first it’s my company and second the decision to bring in the team to laugh their asses on a moron hurryaba Lebanese proved an excellent Tuesday morning moral boost. Don’t be pissed yukk that you made our day, and the day of whoever laughs on these jokes. If you prefer that we dont do it again, you only need to shut up and get out of Hassan’s ass, that’s the reason you stink so bad.
            PS: you fire nothing but stinky farts

          • Hannibal

            My company? I know people with “their” company and the last thing they’ll do is waste time trolling on the internet since its future is at stake. Company my a$$. The only thing you must be doing is flipping burgers at Burger King. moustaweek ya ayr gives it up. eben sheeri3 abban 3an jedd.

          • MekensehParty

            Jealousy tantrum? Obsolete business principles? Or simply crying at night that 18 employees and their leader were just cracking up laughing at your infinite stupidity?
            I can get you hired you know
            Need a shit sweeper for my horse farm

          • Hannibal

            As I said born in a sewer and remains a sewer dweller with a sewer mouth. Shit this and fart that. From the way you speak it is easy to deduct that you must be a custodian somewhere cleaning bathrooms. Did you already pack foreigner? Go back to that filthy village where you were conceived and leave the civilization for the civilized people.
            But wait a second, you do not belong here, and you do not belong (self-exiled) in your country… You are stateless you poor Arab shmuck. But hey again you can join the Syrian or Palestinian refugees in Lebanon or better yet become a nomad with the immigrants of Europe where you will be able to attend school for reintegration into modern society.

          • MekensehParty

            Still with the same boring refrain ya yukk?
            Be original, creative… Recycle.
            Come out with something new
            Do you see me repeating the same things? Every day I find new ways to shit on you, new jokes to ridicule you.
            A hmar would have learned by now

          • Hannibal

            As I said and you proved me right… $hit that and fart this… Sewer dweller custodian cleaning toilets. Do you happen to know any other words? I pity you. What a moron.

          • vs

            他妈的你 already idiot

          • MekensehParty

            Boooooooring

          • Hannibal

            Now be a good loser and cry me a river on the Wall with your troll zionist friends.

          • vs

            again mental masturbation more and more, idiot

          • Hannibal

            Porn again vs? Aren’t you tired of it?

          • vs

            Idiot, fighting you idiot is not my priority and i’m not tired, i’m fighting you idiot easy. Porn (verecundiam) is you. Do not disgrace yourself, idiot

          • Hind Abyad

            Carry on vs you have nothing to say but insults, encouraging others to insult..

          • vs

            Please don’t be fake and don’t insult Israel yourself like Kannibal and OmegaHell. I told already, i will not tolerate info vandals, info fascists and liberal fundamentalists (i can explain) like you. At the moment you will stopped your hatred, i will stop my bad words. You are fake, i’m not encouraging bad anyone, anyone is free and master of own brain. I hate insults, it is vandalism, but i will be like vandal with vandals

          • Hind Abyad

            I don’t care about what you love and what you hate, furthermore,
            f’ov with “don’t insult Israel”.. you can not give orders here!!
            Kanibal your mama.

          • vs

            𐤋𐤊𐤉 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍𐤉 𐤔𐤓𐤌𐤅𐤈𐤄

          • Hannibal

            You mean you have plenty of brainwashing to do?

          • vs

            𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍, 𐤀𐤉𐤃𐤉𐤅𐤕

          • MekensehParty

            Is that your best attempt at being original?
            I pity your wife. How many times did you surprise her with something new? Like stopping at Taco Bell
            Wahahaha
            (See, newer jokes every day)

          • vs

            He is not capable to learn, but let we can learn even from this idiot something

          • Hannibal

            Who stepped on your long nose V#####S>

          • vs

            I’m stealing your intellectual property, idiot

          • Hind Abyad

            mek vs versa

          • vs

            Hi Hind, i don’t want You to be sharmuta, start to learn something good

          • Hannibal

            emmak el sharmuta yalle 7eblit be 3arsa eben 3arsa… Now go get an Orabian to translate you will enjoy that tremendously.

          • vs

            𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍 𐤀𐤉𐤃𐤉𐤅𐤕!

          • Omega

            that 18 employees and their leader

            Again, glorifying yourself.

            The “and their leader” takes the cake. (laughing) As long as you believe yoursel, that’s what matters.

          • MekensehParty

            Sorry, I retract my job offer. My horses wrote me an email saying that they’ll start using the restrooms rather than have to smell your stink on the farm.

          • Hannibal

            Now you have a farm… You have nothing. Barely an abbartment struggling to bay your rent from baycheck to baycheck. I know your ilk. They stay losers even when everything is handed to them. Now go grab your mekenseh and clean your virtual horses $hit. What a moron. It is really becoming funny reading your made up bull.

          • vs

            Kannibal, you posted 7761 comments (!) Are you provided something good and interesting?

          • MekensehParty

            Humor level 0.000000000000001
            You sure you weren’t born on a tree?

          • Omega

            It’s another one of his fairtale stories. A year ago, he wrote to you that he hung the Lebanese flag on a builging in Lebanon, took a stance against Syrian soldiers. Three months ago, he told you he flew to France to make sure Filion does not get elected. Now, he fights ISIS, etc.

            Like the ancient Hebrews he descends from (why else would he despise Lebanon and his people this much), he writes all sorts of non-sense to 1) glorify himself and 2) to make up for his insignifiance in life.

            What king of “company owner” would gather his “employees” to show them his discussion with you on YaLibnan – come on now. Unless of course, he owns (read: runs/manages) a bunch of inbred AshkeNazi hasbara-trolls in the basement of a Chabad House in Brooklyn.

          • vs

            Are you think you are intellectual, idiot?

          • Rudy1947

            “Like the ancient Hebrews”??? Were you there?

          • Omega

            No need to – it’s called forensic archeology.

            The ancient Hebrews (whoever they were – many historians claim they were nothing by Egyptian slaves who were illiterate in sciences and arts) wrote their book to glorify themselves and make up for their insignificance among others. None of the ancient people mention them in trade or diplomacy but they mention each other. To date and for the past seventy years, Israeli archeologists failed to validate the Biblical stories (conquest of the land of Canaan by the Hebrews, the Hebrew Empires, the Exodus, etc).

            Their alphabet is a copy-paste of the Canaanite/Phoenician, the deities they worshiped were Canaanite/Phoenician, their Yahweh is the Phoenician Lord (Adon), they asked the Canaanite/Phoenician to build them their first temple (the one of Solomon which is identical to the one in Tyre, Lebanon), etc.

          • vs

            𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezebel

          • Rudy1947

            That’s nice, now how should it apply to today’s geopolitical situation?

          • Omega

            Never said it did.

          • Rudy1947

            Good. You get an A for the class.

          • Omega

            You get an F for not paying attention.

          • Rudy1947

            Were the ancient Hebrews Hasbara trolls? Were any ancients of interests in today’s politics. Wasted breath.

          • Omega

            Where do you read me write that?

          • Rudy1947

            English please.

          • Omega

            I believe it was English and clear but alright: where do you read me write that the ancient Hebrews were hasbara trolls or of interest in today’s politics?

          • Rudy1947

            Now that’s been edited.

          • Omega

            Neither my original comment to Hannibal nor my reply to you were edited.

            Ask @Hannibal. The comment was addressed to him and he can confirm that it was not with the email notification he received for the comment.

            You either misread or misunderstood.

    • vs
  • Danny Farah

    Let’s get going here and you jackasses been talking about it for years. Time to get moving. First move the trash out of the cities and away from populations. Second get 24/7 Electric and water service going. Then get your arms ready to fight your neighbors since we all want in on the action.. but will the greedy ministers ever decide on it since they want to know who is going to claim the Lion shares.I can’t believe we have so many success stories of lebanese across the world but in Lebanon they are all backward. You see men and women on TV now all colorful and sinful and deceitful and want to look good for everyone. But when they pass the trash everyday around them and do not do a damned thing about it. they protest one day and they get intimidated by the thugs of Berri and they stop protesting.. Well guess what Lebanon until you move the cheese nothing will improve.. Plain and simple..

    • MekensehParty

      I’m happy and I encourage the non-exploration of it all because the revenues will simply go towards enriching more these so called “leaders” and the Lebanese people won’t even get a discount on their gasoline. Better leave it where it is rather than all these rats getting richer.

  • Rudy1947

    Unlike many of the oil rich ME nations, Lebanon is oil poor. They need to import many vital resources while exporting “fluff”. Natural resources are limited and this natgas field off the coast would be a boost to their economy. Having said that it appears from comments below and many previous comments and actions by the Lebanese it may be a waste of time. I guess Lebanon’s only significance is beach front property and a strategic position against Israel.

  • Hind Abyad

    What idiots can destroy their own country?
    Beaches are condos for billionaires..

    ‘Water pollution in Lebanon reaching dangerous levels
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/lebanon-water-pollution-garbage-crisis.html#ixzz4mfloySvC