Lebanon’s Energy Window is Slowly Closing

In the opening ceremony of the Second Lebanon Oil and Gas Conference held last December in Beirut, Jerome Ferrier, the president of the International Gas Union, made an important and audacious remark:

Lebanon’s gas reserves had to be viewed as part and parcel of the Eastern Mediterranean reserves.

He stated that the marketing of Lebanon’s resources hinged on forming a consortium with Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

Ferrier’s remark, while economically correct, defied geopolitical realities, Not surprisingly, then-Energy Minister Gebran Bassil did not address the remark. Instead, he blamed the Cabinet for depriving Lebanon of the opportunity to exploit its gas reserves. However, what was left unsaid by both Ferrier and Bassil was that domestic Lebanese demand on its own is insufficient to make gas production cost effective.

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