Lebanon Businessnews News

Drilling for gas in Block 9
is set to start next autumn
Cost to Total of first well estimated at $113 million
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French oil company TotalEnergies has agreed with the Ministry of Energy and the Petroleum Administration (LPA) to set September-November of this year as a binding date to begin drilling a well in the Qana field (Block No. 9). The well is located six to seven kilometers north of ‘Line 23’.

The drilling cost of the first exploration well is expected to reach $113 million according to some estimates.

Drilling operations will go through three stages. The first one starts with an evaluation process by the winning bidder (out of five that have applied) to drill the first exploration well. The company will then communicate to Total the launch of the rig’s operations at the work site by the end of September. To speed up the process, Total last November requested equipment from contractors for drilling in deep waters.

The second stage includes obtaining the necessary licenses from the relevant ministries, especially Energy and Water, and the Environment. The first step will be completed in principle next June, with the submission of the results of the ‘Environmental Impact Study’ for Block 9, including the specific exploration site. After that, the ministry is supposed to grant a drilling license, once the other concerned ministries provide theirs.

The third stage consists of preparing the ground for building the ‘logistics base’ at the Port of Beirut (PoB). Total may also lease land in another area to store some of the equipment used in the drilling process.

Construction of the base will cost $13 million and will start in July or August. PoB will allocate 8,000 m2 for petroleum activities. Discussions are currently underway to estimate the cost, determine the final location, occupancy period, and other technical details.

Total may also establish a backup base, probably in Cyprus, that will be used in emergency situations.
Date Posted: Mar 09, 2023
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