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Offshore drilling rig arrives in Lebanese waters forward of labor close to Israel border

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Lebanese Cupboard ministers say an offshore drilling rig has arrived at its location within the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast and can begin operations within the coming weeks to seek for fuel

ByBASSEM MROUE Related Press

FILE – The drilling ship Tungsten Explorer is seen off the coast of Dbayeh, north of Beirut, Lebanon, on Could 15, 2020. An offshore drilling rig that may quickly begin actions in seek for fuel within the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast has arrived at its location and can begin work within the coming weeks, Lebanese Cupboard ministers mentioned Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. (AP Photograph/Bilal Hussein, File)

The Related Press

BEIRUT — An offshore drilling rig arrived at its location within the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast and can begin operations within the coming weeks to seek for fuel, Lebanese Cupboard ministers mentioned Wednesday.

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The rig is anticipated to start drilling in September in Lebanese waters close to the border with Israel after the 2 nations reached a deal final yr on their maritime border. Lebanon and Israel have formally been at conflict since Israel’s creation in 1948.

Money-strapped Lebanon hopes that future fuel discoveries will assist the small Mideast nation pull itself out of the worst financial and monetary disaster in its trendy historical past.

Minister of Transport Ali Hamie wrote on X, the platform previously generally known as Twitter, that the rig arrived Wednesday morning on the location the place it’s scheduled to start work. The rig faces the southern port metropolis of Tyre.

“We hope that Lebanon will turn out to be an oil state,” Lebanon’s Power Minister Walid Fayyad informed reporters in Beirut, including that the outcomes of the drilling are anticipated in two or three months.

In 2017, Lebanon authorised licenses for a global consortium together with France’s TotalEnergies, Italy’s ENI and Russia’s Novatek to maneuver ahead with offshore oil and fuel growth for 2 of 10 blocks within the Mediterranean. The borders of one of many two blocks have been disputed by neighboring Israel till the maritime border deal was reached final yr.

In January, Lebanon, ENI, TotalEnergies and state-owned oil and fuel firm Qatar Power signed an settlement by which the Qatari agency changed Novatek. Underneath the deal signed in January, Qatar Power will take Novatek’s 20% stake along with 5% every from ENI and Whole, leaving the Arab firm with a complete stake of 30%. Whole and ENI will every have 35% stakes.

Underneath the U.S.-mediated deal between Lebanon and Israel that was signed in October, the disputed waters could be divided alongside a line straddling the “Qana” pure fuel subject within the Mediterranean. Whole mentioned fuel manufacturing could be based mostly on the Lebanese facet, however Israel could be compensated for fuel extracted from its facet of the road beneath a individually signed deal between Whole and Israel.

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