The first shipment of equipment to be used for Lebanon’s inaugural oil and gas drilling exploration in the Mediterranean Sea arrived at Beirut Port over the weekend, Energy Minister Nada Boustani announced.
“Lebanon begins the countdown,” Boustani said on her official Twitter account Saturday.
The minister had said Thursday that work on drilling the first exploratory well would begin in December in an area known as Block 4, situated off the coast of Beirut.
Officials have said there is a roughly 1-in-3 chance of making a commercially viable hydrocarbon find on the first drill.
The first round of Lebanon’s licensing process saw blocks 4 and 9 awarded to a consortium of companies: Total (France), Eni (Italy) and Novatek (Russia).
The head of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration Walid Nasr told The Daily Star Thursday that it would take 55 days to determine if there were hydrocarbons in Block 4.
If hydrocarbons are found, an appraisal will be carried out “to test exactly [their] quantity and quality” as well as to study whether it’s “a commercial discovery or not,” Nasr said.
He added that if a commercial discovery were made, then the companies involved would have to design a development plan and send it to the government for approval.
Nasr said the drilling in Block 4 would not determine the size or value of any offshore gas deposits.
He also said that, based on the results, the government would decide whether to continue drilling in Block 4 or abandon the plan, should no commercial quantities of gas be found.
Drilling in Block 9, parts of which sit in waters claimed by Israel as its exclusive economic zone, is set to begin in 2020.
The Daily Star