Signing an agreement to join Qatar to the oil exploration consortium in Lebanese waters
Mikati: It enhances investment confidence in Lebanon and puts it on the oil map
Monday – 8 Rajab 1444 AH – January 30, 2023 AD Issue No [
Mikati sponsors the signing of the agreement to join Qatar to the oil exploration consortium in Lebanese waters (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Beirut: «Asharq Al-Awsat»
Yesterday (Sunday) Lebanon signed the “Amendments to the Exploration and Production Agreements in Blocks 4 and 9” agreement, on the occasion of the Qatar Energy Company’s entry into a partnership with “Total Energy” and “Eni” in the oil exploration process in Lebanese waters, under the auspices of the caretaker Prime Minister, Najib. Miqati and his presence, as there was reliance on this step in Lebanon’s economic future.
The task of signing was undertaken by the Minister of Energy and Water, Walid Fayyad, on the Lebanese side, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs of Qatar and CEO of Qatar Energy, Eng. Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi on the Qatari side, and the Executive Director of the “Total” group, Eng. Claudio Descalzi for the Italian company, in the presence of the ambassadors of Qatar, France and Italy.
Mikati said in a speech on the occasion: “The entry of Qatar Energy Company and its acquisition of 30 percent of the exploration and production agreements in blocks 4 and 9 constitutes an important and exceptional event in the oil exploration and production sector in Lebanese marine waters, and the operator will be Total Energies, which owns A 35 percent stake, in addition to the “Eni Company”, which owns a 35 percent stake, by starting drilling in Block 9 after completing environmental surveys and concessions related to drilling and launching logistical activities from the port of Beirut.
He pointed out that «the start of the process of exploration and petroleum activities will have a positive impact in the short and medium term on creating opportunities for Lebanese companies interested in the service sector in the field of petroleum and provide job opportunities for Lebanese youth, especially for workers in the technical field, and that in the event of discovery of commercial quantities, it This discovery will be developed at the required speed and the Lebanese market, especially the power plants, will be supplied with natural gas, which will contribute to the growth of the local economy.”
And he stressed that “the consortium of companies operating in Blocks 4 and 9 will contribute to advancing investments in the energy sector in Lebanon, which is a long-term investment that the Lebanese state will accompany with good governance and absolute transparency.”
He emphasized that «the consortium of these internationally renowned companies enhances investment confidence in Lebanon, despite the difficult circumstances it is going through, and puts Lebanon in the future on the oil map in the Levantine basin of the Mediterranean. And Lebanon’s geographical location will enable it to play a pivotal role, in addition to friendly countries, in the region to supply gas to Europe, and it also encourages international companies to participate in the second licensing round for offshore blocks offered for bidding.
He stressed that “Qatari investment in the energy sector constitutes a strategic partnership between Lebanon and the sisterly State of Qatar, and opens the way for future Arab and Gulf investments in particular, for the benefit of Lebanon and its Arab brothers.”
On the other hand, Mikati thanked the US administration again for “the efforts it made to achieve the agreement to demarcate the southern Lebanese borders,” and saluted the American mediator Amos Hochstein and his team, who led the negotiation process with precision, professionalism, and patience to reach the agreement, “and he hoped that” it would reach Matters have concluded by initiating practical steps to explore for gas in Lebanese waters.” He also saluted the diligent follow-up of the US Ambassador to Beirut, Dorothy Shea, in this regard.
After the signing ceremony, a press conference was held, during which Minister Fayyad delivered a speech in which he affirmed that “the signing marks the beginning of a new phase that contributes to consolidating Lebanon’s position on the petroleum map in the region, enhances its role as an investment destination and opens a window of hope for a next phase that heralds the prosperity of our beloved country, Lebanon, and the well-being of its people.”
And he hoped that the signing would establish a “long-term partnership starting from Blocks Nos. 4 and 9, to be followed by additional offers for the blocks currently offered for bidding,” expressing his hope that “the discoveries in the near future will contribute to helping Lebanon achieve its strategic goals,” hoping that “our partnership will not be limited to the exploration sector.” It is not about hydrocarbon resources, but rather about investments in all energy sectors, especially renewable energy, which will help Lebanon meet its needs through clean and sustainable energy and contribute to enhancing its energy security and diversifying its energy sources.
For his part, the Qatari minister explained that “according to the agreements, Qatar Energy will acquire a 30 percent stake in both regions, while (Total Energy) and (Eni) will retain a 35 percent stake for each,” noting that it “is not the first exploration attempt.” In Lebanon, but it is a serious attempt to explore a promising area in the eastern Mediterranean basin. And we are already in this area, not far from here – in Cyprus, where we discovered gas in the Glocas field, there are many elements that make these agreements important for Lebanon, but also for Qatar Energy. One of these elements is that it came in the wake of reaching the maritime border demarcation agreement, which paved the way for us to start this ambitious effort. He added, “As for us in Qatar, this important agreement gives us an opportunity to support economic development in Lebanon, during this critical juncture.”
For his part, the CEO of the “Total” group pointed out that “the recent demarcation of the maritime borders gave new impetus to explore the country’s hydrocarbon potential, and that we, along with our partners, are determined to drill an exploratory well in Block 9 as soon as possible in 2023, and our teams are fully equipped to implement this.” Operations”, announcing that this new partnership between “Total Energy” and “Qatar Energy” expands the scope of international cooperation in the field of exploration and raises the number of countries in which the two companies cooperate to nine countries.
The CEO of the Eni group confirmed that “this signing today comes at a precise time, as energy forms the basis for relations between countries, and at a time when Russian gas supplies to Europe have stopped,” and he expressed his “optimism to work with the best teams in this field and with the most important companies.” Global: (Qatar Energy) and (Total Energies), and we hope to reach the desired commercial explorations for the benefit of the Lebanese people.
The US Special Presidential Coordinator for Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein, tweeted, via his Twitter account, saying: “Congratulations to Lebanon on Qatarenergy joining eni and TotalEnergies. We welcome the new additional investments in the energy sector in Lebanon,” considering that it is “another example of the progress made in the agreement.” Navy”.