Lebanon has begun gas and oil exploration drilling at the Qana field in Block 9 on the border of its economic waters with Israel. The results of the exploration should be known in six weeks. The exploration drilling operator is French energy major TotalEnergies (35%) in partnership with Italian company Eni (35%) and Qatar Energy (30%), which replaced Russian company Novatek, which quit the consortium last September.
According to preliminary estimates and analyses of data from the geological survey, the Qana field could contain nearly 100 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas – more than Israel’s Karish and Tanin gas fields combined.
This gas field was one of the main issues in the negotiations to set the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon. As part of the agreement signed last October, it was decided that the border would cross to the south of the Qana field, and it would remain entirely in the hands of the Lebanese, although Israel would be entitled to a percentage (17% has been previously reported) of the royalties of the field, according to a document of principles signed in November with the partnership in Block 9.
The document establishes guiding principles for a situation where the exploration processes that have now begun will lead to the understanding that it is possible to extract gas on a commercial scale. Revenue from Qana could total hundreds of billions of dollars. In a situation where Israel and TotalEnergies do not reach an agreement regarding the estimation of the size of the reservoir, an external expert will be appointed to make the decision.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on September 15, 2023.
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