Lebanese PM Saad Hariri eyes UAE investment into budding oil and gas sector

After prolific finds in the Mediterranean, including the coast of Egypt and Cyprus, Lebanon has begun its own efforts to explore its waters for hydrocarbons

Saad hariri, Levant Basin, East Mediterranean
WAM

In an interview with UAE news agency WAM, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that he hoped the UAE-Lebanon Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi would attract investments into Lebanon's nascent oil and gas sector as well as renewable energy.

WAM reported that the large team accompanying Hariri in the UAE would present investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector, with discussions to be held on renewable energy and other projects.

After prolific finds in the Mediterranean, including the coast of Egypt and Cyprus, Lebanon has begun its own efforts to explore its waters for hydrocarbons. It has surveyed the acreage for its 10 blocks, and in early 2018 awarded exploration licenses for blocks four and nine to a consortium led by Total, Eni and Novatek.

Lebanon has for years faced issues with power generation, and the average Lebanese household relies on a personal diesel-fuelled generator at a cost of around $1,300 per year, or 15% of income per capita, according to a 2017 report by the World Bank. The cuts also affect business— in 2008, the World Bank estimated that power outages cost Lebanese industries close to $400mn in sales losses.

In a 2018 interview with Oil & Gas Middle East, when asked about the gas shortage, Wissam Chbat, a board member and head of geology and geophysics at the state’s Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), interrupts: “No, it’s not a shortage,” he says. “There is no gas. None.”

Hariri and his delegation are also seeking support in food and infrastructure. 

WATCH: PM Hariri on ties between Lebanon and the UAE

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