‘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. 


Iran Guards threaten US over Gulf presence after receiving new combat vessels

Updated 26 min 55 sec ago

Iran Guards threaten US over Gulf presence after receiving new combat vessels

  • Guards’ navy chief warns it is expanding Iran’s naval power

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels.
The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines, state television reported.
“We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future,” the Guards’ navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.
Iran and the United States have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation twice in the past year.
The latest confrontation between the arch-foes came after the United States accused the Guards of harassing its ships in the Gulf in mid-April.
“Advancing while remaining defensive is the nature of our work,” said Guards commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami.
“But this does not equal passivity against the enemy,” he added, noting that Iran “will not bow down to any foe.”
According to Salami, the Guards’ navy had been instructed to expand Iran’s naval power until it can adequately defend “territorial independence and integrity, protect naval interests and pursue and destroy the enemy.”
Decades-old acrimony between the two worsened in 2018 when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Tensions escalated further in January when a US air strike killed Qasem Soleimani, the top Iranian general who headed the Guards’ foreign arm, the Quds Force.