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Total, Eni and Novatek win rights for two offshore Lebanese blocks

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 February 2018

Total in consortium with Eni and Novatek has bagged exploration and production rights for two offshore blocks in Lebanon, located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The consortium was awarded the rights to explore and produce hydrocarbons on Blocks 4 and 9 during the country’s first International Competitive Offshore Licensing Round held by the Lebanese Petroleum Authority.

Total will hold a stake of 40% in the two Lebanese deepwater blocks and will assume the role of operator. Italian energy company Eni will hold a stake of 40% while Russian natural gas producer Novatek will hold the remaining 20%.

Total Exploration & Production senior vice president Middle East/ North Africa Stéphane Michel said: “An established player in Lebanon’s marketing sector, Total is delighted to expand its presence in the country to the exploration & production segment. These agreements are part of the Group’s exploration strategy in the Mediterranean region.”

The consortium aims to spud a first exploration well on Block 4 in 2019.

Total said that the consortium is well aware of the Israeli-Lebanese border dispute in the southern part of Block 9, which it said is confined to less than 8% of the block’s surface.

The French oil and gas major said that the exploration well on Block 9 will not have any interference with fields or prospects located south of the disputed maritime border. This, it said is because the key prospects for the consortium are located more than 25km from the disputed region.

For Eni, the participation in the two offshore Lebanese blocks would further bolster its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Italian energy company is already engaged in exploration and production activities in Egypt and exploration activities in Cyprus.

Last week, Eni along with its partner Total made a lean gas discovery in offshore Cyprus, in Block 6 after drilling the Calypso 1 NFW well in 2,074m of water depth.

Image: Map showing the locations of the two offshore Lebanese blocks won by the Total-led consortium. Photo: courtesy of Total.