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President Michel Aoun announced on Wednesday that Lebanon will officially launch offshore oil and gas drilling Thursday, calling it a “historic day “

“This event should have been launched in 2013, but domestic and political difficulties prevented that,” Aoun said in an address to the nation.

Noting that Lebanon is going through “the severest economic and financial crisis in its modern history,” the president said oil exploration will have “a very important geopolitical impact” and will “affirm our active presence and the elements of our strength and firmness.”

“Today, more than ever, we are determined to shoulder the responsibility of confronting wrong economic policies and successive accumulations,” Aoun added.

He said that oil extraction “will represent a cornerstone for climbing out of the abyss and a drastic juncture for turning our economy from a rentier economy into a productive economy.”

Aoun added that the country’s oil and gas resources are “for all Lebanese,” emphasizing that the revenues “will be a sovereign fortune that will not be wasted or affected by corruption.”

“No group will practice hegemony over it,” he reassured.

The president also vowed that Lebanon will “fiercely defend every drop of its territorial waters where our oil and gas resources are situated.”

Corruption exposed: Lebanon’s petroleum is not Lebanon’s anymore

But Lebanese petroleum expert Nicolas Sarkis revealed last November a Youtube video exposing the outrageous corruption nested in the petroleum domain in Lebanon. He says that he had never seen, in any other country in his 40 or so years of work in petroleum, the amount of corruption that he saw first-hand in Lebanon.

Sarkis has worked as a petroleum consultant in several Arab and non-Arab petroleum-producing countries . Following the uprising in Lebanon he decided to share what he knows about the Lebanese petroleum project .

According to Mr Sarkis Lebanon established several fake companies that are owned by or associated with politicians who will be the only beneficiaries of Lebanon’s oil wealth .

Petroleum ( oil and gas) is the only resource that can give Lebanon a chance to get back on its feet and now this chance is being taken away by the greedy politicians who only selfishly care about their interests and disregard those of their suffering Lebanese people, Mr Sarkis concluded

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