London meeting to discuss gas findings off coast

The Sinopec logo is seen at one of its gas stations in Hong Kong in this April 26, 2010 file photo. Picture taken April 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files)

BEIRUT: Leading international oil firms will get first-hand information about the initial findings of Lebanon’s massive gas wealth under the sea during a meeting in London Wednesday.

Multinational oil companies such as Exxon, Shell and Mobil will take part in the meeting. It will also be attended by Lebanese officials and senior executives from the British-based company Spectrum, which has been surveying 3,000 kilometers of Lebanon’s territorial waters.

David Rowlands, the CEO of Spectrum and one of the key speakers at the briefing, told The Daily Star over the telephone that 65 representatives of companies will attend the meeting.

Ali Hamdan, an adviser to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and Cesar Bou Khalil, an adviser at the Energy and Water Ministry, will focus in their presentation about the political situation in Lebanon and the government’s efforts to speed up the creation of the long-awaited Petroleum Administration.

Rowlands and another speaker from Spectrum will give detailed information about the operation off the Lebanese coast and the preliminary results which were gathered by the seismic vessel, M/V Polar Duke.

“We hope that the representation will encourage other companies to buy the 3-D seismic data collected off the Lebanese coat. The companies will naturally ask the Lebanese officials about the fate of the Petroleum Administration because this body will issue the licenses to the companies drill for gas off the Lebanese coast,” Rowlands said.

The firm has estimated the gas off Lebanon’s coast to be close to 25 trillion cubic feet, valued by experts over $40 billion.

This article was amended on Wednesday, October 17 2012

Corrected title of Ali Hamdan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 17, 2012, on page 5.




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