Lebanon’s first offshore exploration well does not yield gas, oil

The consortium found evidence traces of gas, which confirmed the presence of a hydrocarbon system, did not encounter any reservoirs of the Tamar formation. (NNA)
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Updated 28 April 2020

Lebanon’s first offshore exploration well does not yield gas, oil

DUBAI: A consortium working for Lebanon’s first-ever offshore exploration well has finished drilling work at the site but initial results indicate a ‘negative result’ in the block.

“Total E&P Liban has completed the drilling of Byblos well 16/1 on Block 4 to a depth of 4,076 meters,” state news agency NNA reported.

The joint venture between Total and ENI – who owns a 40 percent stake separately – and Novatek, which controls the remaining equity, operate the well located 30 kilometers offshore Beirut and was drilled in a water depth of approximatively 1,500 meters.

“We are satisfied to have drilled the first ever exploration well in the Lebanese offshore domain, according to the initial program. We thank the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration for their invaluable support notably to overcome the challenge resulting from the Covid-19 crisis. Despite of the negative result, this well has provided valuable data and learnings that will be integrated into our evaluation of the area,” said Ricardo Darré, the managing director of Total E&P Liban.

The well exploration penetrated the entire Oligo-Miocene target section, where evidence traces of gas confirmed the presence of a hydrocarbon system. However, it did not encounter any reservoirs of the Tamar formation, which was the target of the exploration well.

Based on the data acquired during drilling, studies will be conducted to understand the results and further evaluate the exploration potential of the Total operated JV blocks and for offshore Lebanon, the report added.


Oil surges on hopes of new deal on output cuts

Updated 02 June 2020

Oil surges on hopes of new deal on output cuts

  • Brent price has doubled in five weeks
  • OPEC talks may be brought forward

DUBAI: Oil prices surged toward $40 a barrel on Monday as hopes rose for an early agreement to extend the big production cuts agreed by Saudi Arabia and Russia under the OPEC+ alliance.

Brent, the global benchmark, jumped by more 9 percent to nearly $39, continuing the surge that has doubled the price in five weeks — the best performance in its history. It recovered after record supply cuts agreed between the 23 countries of the OPEC+ partnership, and enforced cuts in US shale oil.

DME Oman crude, the regional benchmark in which a lot of Saudi Aramco exports are priced, rose above $40 a barrel for the first time since early March.

Market sentiment was buoyed by the possibility that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would agree with non-OPEC members to extend the cuts for a longer period than was agreed in April.

Oil analysts expect OPEC to fast track a “virtual” meeting to formally agree to maintaining cuts at the record 9.7 million barrels a day level. The meeting was scheduled for June 9, but bringing it forward would allow producers more time to set pricing levels.

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An official with one OPEC delegation told Arab News there was consensus among the 23 OPEC+ members for the new date, which could be as early as June 4. The meeting will also consider how long the current level of cuts would be maintained. Some OPEC members want it to run to the end of the year, other producers would prefer a two-month extension.

Omar Najia, global head of derivatives with trader BB Energy, told a forum run by Gulf Intelligence consultancy: “I’d be amazed if OPEC did not extend the higher level of cuts. As long as Saudi Arabia and Russia continue saying nice things to each other I’d expect the rally to continue.”

A Moscow source close to the oil industry said energy officials there had come to the conclusion that “the deal is working” and it was important to keep prices at an “acceptable” level.

Sentiment was also affected by a comparatively high level of compliance with the new cuts, running at about 75 percent among OPEC+ members, with only Iraq and Nigeria noticeable under-compliers.

Robin Mills, chief executive of Qamar Energy, said: “That’s where I’d expect it to be after two months in such a fluid situation. It will be even better in June.”