A policy brief entitled Lebanon: The Next Eastern Mediterranean Gas Producer?, published by the German Marshall Fund and authored by Bassam Fattouh, director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Laura El-Katiri, research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies addresses Lebanon’s challenges in its path towards natural gas production, discusses the benefits that gas production could bring Lebanon and assesses various export scenarios. The report issues recommendations for Lebanon to achieve a sound management of future gas revenues and maximize the economic benefits of its hydrocarbon wealth.
The report highlights the fact that although no exploratory drilling has been conducted yet, the wide range of estimates (varying between 25 to 95.5 Tcf of gas), is indicative of the considerable uncertainty surrounding the subject. The government is keen to diversify Lebanon’s energy mix away from oil to strengthen its security of supply and to reduce air pollution, but gas production is not likely to begin before the mid- 2020s, adds the report. Currently, the share of natural gas in the fuel mix of the power sector has fallen to zero. We will summarize below the main findings of the report.