Lebanon Ready to Drill for Offshore Gas: Minister

BEIRUT — Lebanon is technically ready to start drilling for offshore natural gas reserves, its energy minister said on Monday, after exploration in around half the country's exclusive economic zone was completed.

"Lebanon has now reached the stage where it can start drilling for gas," Gebran Bassil told journalists on a tour to an area in the south of the country where reserves are disputed with Israel and Cyprus. The country "is technically ready to start issuing permits to enable extraction," he said.

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Two companies working with the Lebanese authorities that specialise in three­dimensional exploration have already surveyed around half the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), said Bassil.

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