Lebanon Businessnews News

Oil MoU with Russia
Collaboration on exploration, infrastructure, supply
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The Ministry of Energy and Water signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia regarding collaboration in the oil and gas sector. The agreement mainly concerned oil and gas exploration and drilling.

During his visit to Russia, Gebran Bassil, Acting Minister of Energy and Water, met with different Russian oil companies interested in investing in Lebanon. Four Russian companies are already prequalified for the drilling bids (postponed to January 10, 2014): Gazprom, LUKoil, Novatek, and Rosneft.

Russian-Lebanese cooperation will aim to meet Lebanon’s oil and gas demand, as well as to establish gas pipelines, stations, and filtering units. “We are currently working on establish a gas supply line from Russia. Several Russian and foreign companies have expressed interest in the project and we have received guarantees from the World Bank,” said Bassil.

Bassil said the coastal pipeline in Lebanon is an essential project that will link the country to the gas network in the region, and allow it to play a more efficient role.

Five maritime blocks are currently delineated for exploration. Lebanon and Israel still have a dispute over some 800 square kilometers along their Mediterranean maritime border. Lebanon recently said that Israel had the technical capacity to draw gas from its offshore fields.

Gazprom is particularly interested in the area, as it wants to improve its access to European markets. The company lost a key tender last year to take a stake in Israel’s Leviathan gas field, where production is expected to begin in 2016.

Reported by Alexis Baghdadi
Date Posted: Oct 11, 2013
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