Lebanon sets boundaries for offshore round for offshore gas exploration
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said today the country would soon define its offshore boundaries with Cyprus and Syria and would move ahead with licensing exploration for oil and gas.
News wires 21 October 2010 12:39 GMT
Lebanon has said it hopes to launch a licensing round for offshore gas exploration at the beginning of 2012.
“We are finalising the economic zones with Syria, and hopefully soon we will be sending to parliament the whole area for ratification,” Reuters quoted Hariri as telling reporters in Cyprus.
“At some point we had some differences on the agreement with Cyprus; we had some differences with Syria. Now we have a much better relationship with Syria, and we are negotiating the economic zone,” Hariri said.
Cyprus has a conclusive agreement with Egypt defining its sea boundaries, has signed an agreement pending ratification with Lebanon and is holding talks with Israel.
Cyprus, which lies to Lebanon’s west, carried out one licensing round for deep-water exploration in the eastern Mediterranean in 2007, despite objections from Turkey, its northern neighbour with which it has no diplomatic ties.
Turkey said earlier today it planned to begin work on oil exploration around Cyprus but did not specify where.
The southern rim of the island, controlled by Cyprus’s internationally recognised government, has already divided up 13 sea plots, which it is offering for exploration.
US-based energy company Noble has exploration rights to one of Cyprus’s plots, while the island plans a second licensing round soon.
Energy officials say they want to conclude talks with neighbouring countries before proceeding with another round.