Lebanon Fights to Join East Med Gas Boom

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Lebanon's dysfunctional, crisis-ridden government is reported to be close to appointing a panel to oversee exploration of potential rich natural gas fields offshore that could be the salvation of a country hovering on the brink of a new sectarian explosion.

But no one's holding their breath that foreign companies are likely to start drilling any time soon, even as neighboring Israel and Cyprus, which sit on the same gas-bearing strata as Lebanon, move swiftly toward energy self-sufficiency and lucrative export programs.

The signs, based on 3-D seismic surveys, are that Lebanon probably has major gas fields within its maritime economic zone.

"The data that I have is that there's greater potential offshore Lebanon than offshore Syria and offshore Cyprus," David Rowlands, chief executive officer of the Norway's Spectrum Co., which is surveying the Lebanese sector.

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#exploration #maritime economic zone #sectarian rivalries #offshore strategy