‘High probability’ of finding oil and gas reserves in Lebanon next year, claims former PM

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said confirmation might come in January 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 December 2019

‘High probability’ of finding oil and gas reserves in Lebanon next year, claims former PM

  • Siniora hoped exploration companies would “extract something” in January
  • If the ventures succeed, it would take six to seven years to see its impact on Lebanon’s economy, he said

DUBAI: There is “high probability” of finding oil and gas reserves in Lebanon by early 2020, according to the country’s former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Although Siniora said “nobody knows whether we have proven reserves,” in an interview with UAE’s WAM, he hoped exploration companies would “extract something” in January.

His comments come a year after Lebanon, which has limited natural resources, signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration contracts in 2018 with three major energy companies – France’s Total, Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek.

Siniora said exploration companies carried out studies and analysis of the area before investing in Lebanon.

Siniora explained the fact they invested money means the results of the studies were “positive.”

Meanwhile local media reports showed a document from Lebanese Petroleum Administration, a regulatory body in the country’s oil and gas sector, indicating “potential” oil and gas source rocks in the Levant basin, according to WAM.

If the ventures succeed, it would take six to seven years to see its impact on Lebanon’s economy, Siniora explained. 


Erdogan under fire over plea for cash

Updated 45 min 33 sec ago

Erdogan under fire over plea for cash

  • The new fund replaces donation accounts set up by Erdogan’s political rivals

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accused of dodging his responsibilities by launching a nationwide donation campaign to help low-income earners struggling with the coronavirus outbreak.

The new fund replaces donation accounts set up by Erdogan’s political rivals in the Ankara and Istanbul municipalities, which were abruptly blocked by the Interior Ministry.

Many people prefer making donations to city mayors because it offers greater transparency on how their money is spent.

Erdogan’s new campaign, labeled “We are self-sufficient, Turkey,” called on Turkish citizens to make financial donations to a specific bank account. The president promised to donate seven months of his salary, and the Cabinet joined the appeal with a donation of more than $790,000.

“Our goal is to help those financially struggling, especially daily wage workers, due to the precautions taken against the outbreak,” Erdogan said.

But opposition IYI Party leader Meral Aksener said Erdogan’s “salary is not enough … instead he should donate the plane given to him by the Qatari emir.”

With thousands facing wage cuts or joblessness amid tightened measures to curb the outbreak, Erdogan’s call for nationwide donations has been widely criticized as an attempt to avoid government responsibility.

Other critics said that the donation campaign was a last resort to avoid asking for help from the International Monetary Fund because of Turkey’s economic problems.

Research analyst Sinem Adar said the campaign was motivated by Erdogan’s rivalry with the Istanbul and Ankara municipalities.