Lebanon signs deal with 3 international oil companies

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, center, stands for the national anthem of Lebanon during the signing ceremony with an international consortium to start exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas in Beirut. The ceremony was attended by officials from the consortium’s three oil companies, Italy’s Eni, France’s Total and Russia’s Novatek. (AP Photo)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Lebanon signs deal with 3 international oil companies

BEIRUT: Lebanon has signed a deal with an international consortium to start exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas in what the country hopes will help boost its struggling economy.
The signing ceremony was held Friday in Beirut and was attended by President Michel Aoun and officials from the three oil companies, Italy’s Eni, France’s Total and Russia’s Novatek.
The agreement came two months after Lebanon’s government approved the licenses for the international consortium to move forward with offshore oil and gas development.
The three companies have bid for two of Lebanon’s 10 offshore blocks, to determine whether oil and gas exist.
Lebanon’s energy and water minister said the country will start exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas next year. One of the blocks is disputed in part with Israel.


One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen

Updated 15 October 2018
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One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen

  • Schools in southern Oman were closed last week as the storm gathered strength in the Arabian Sea
  • The man was found dead late Sunday in a valley in the province of Dhofar

ADEN: At least one person was killed when tropical storm Luban slammed into the southern coasts of Oman and neighboring Yemen, Omani civil defense said Monday.
The man was found dead late Sunday in a valley in the province of Dhofar, which borders eastern Yemen, the sultanate’s civil defense said.
News of the death came as a Yemeni official warned the storm had left the country’s eastern province of Mahra in “disaster.”
The area was a “disaster because of the torrential rains that hit the province and caused great losses to public and private property,” said Mahra governor Rajeh Bakrit, quoted by the official Saba news agency.
“The situation is catastrophic in the province and beyond the capabilities of the local authorities,” Bakrit said, calling on a Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized government in Yemen’s war to step in and provide support.
For his part, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher called on international relief organizations to assist the eastern province.
Schools in southern Oman were closed last week as the storm gathered strength in the Arabian Sea.
But Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation downgraded Luban from cyclone to tropical storm as it drew nearer to the coast.
In May, Cyclone Mekunu smashed into the Yemeni island of Socotra and southern Oman, killing at least 11 people.
The cyclone had isolated parts of Socotra island — part of a UNESCO-protected archipelago for its rich biodiversity — with the government also declaring it a “disaster” zone.