QatarEnergy acquires 30% stake in Lebanon's offshore exploration blocks
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QatarEnergy acquires 30% stake in Lebanon’s offshore exploration blocks

QatarEnergy acquires 30% stake in Lebanon’s offshore exploration blocks

The partnership marks QatarEnergy’s first exploration endeavour in Lebanon

QatarEnergy acquires 30% stake in Lebanon's offshore exploration blocks

State-owned firm QatarEnergy has marked its first exploration endeavor in Lebanon.

It has entered into agreements with the Lebanese government, France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s Eni to become a partner in two offshore exploration blocks.

TotalEnergies and Eni have completed the transfer to QatarEnergy of a 30 per cent interest in exploration blocks 4 and 9 off the coast of Lebanon, TotalEnergies said in a statement on Sunday.

Pursuant to the agreements, TotalEnergies, who is the operator, and Eni will each retain a 35 per cent interest in the blocks.

Lebanon signed an historic agreement with Israel in October last year that ended a decades-long dispute over maritime borders. Both countries had laid claim to an area covering 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) that’s thought to be gas-rich.

Read: Qatar in talks with TotalEnergies for stake in Lebanon gas block

“This very important commitment gives us the opportunity to support Lebanon’s economic development, at this critical juncture,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and CEO of QatarEnergy. Al Kaabi is also Minister of State for Energy Affairs.

“We are pleased to work with TotalEnergies and Eni, with whom we share a long history of cooperation, and who have a deep understanding of the region and a proven exploration track record.”

Block 9 has a total area of 1,749 square kilometers and lies about 80km off the coast of southern Lebanon in water depths of approximately 1,700 meters. Block 4 has a total area of 1,911 square kilometers and is located in water depths of about 1,500 meters.

“The recent delineation of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel has created a new momentum for the exploration of its hydrocarbon potential. Along with our partners, we are committed to drilling as soon as possible in 2023 an exploration well in Block 9, and our teams are mobilised to conduct these operations”, said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

The new partnership expands cooperation between TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy in exploration activities, bringing the number of countries where both firms have partnerships to nine.

TotalEnergies invested about $1.5bn in Qatar’s natural gas development, holding a 9.375 per cent stake in North Field South, last year.

Read: TotalEnergies invests about $1.5bn in Qatar gas field

The French oil giant also owns a 6.25 per cent stake in another Qatari development, North Field East.

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