BEIRUT: Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of French hydrocarbon company Total, announced Tuesday that the company will start looking for oil and gas in Lebanese waters between December and January.
“I think at the end of December or the beginning of January we will start exploratory drilling in Lebanese waters,” Pouyanne said in a televised interview with the Saudi Arabia-based Al Arabiya channel.
He added that some talks still need to take place with the relevant authorities regarding “the transportation of tools and equipment for the exploratory work,” but that the work would commence “whatever the circumstances.”
Pouyanne reiterated that the operation is merely exploratory and that he does not know yet whether oil or gas will be found. The drilling will take place in offshore Block 4 for around 60 days.
Caretaker Energy Minister Nada Boustani said last week that the operation would start after the arrival of a drilling ship currently in Egypt.
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreements for Block 4 and Block 9.
The government approved bids by an international consortium of energy companies comprising Total from France, Eni from Italy and Novatek from Russia.