The Minister of Energy and Water in the caretaker government issued the following statement:
With the beginning of the year 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the petroleum industry, which has forced international oil companies to reduce exploration activities in most countries around the world, and this is due to companies having to reduce their annual budgets and to the difficulty of working in maritime waters in light of the preventive measures taken to avoid virus.
As for the local level, the Minister of Energy and Water stresses to confirm that the consortium of companies consisting of Total, ENI and Novatek continues its petroleum activities in Lebanon under the leadership of the operator Total, especially that, due to the implementation of the amended Law 160/2020 (suspension of deadlines), the first exploration period was extended in each of Blocks 4 and 9 in the Lebanese maritime waters until August 13 of the year 2022.
The consortium has presented the Work and Budget Programs for Blocks 4 and 9 for the year 2021, which include studies and data analysis to complete the activities in Block 4 in which an exploration well was drilled in implementation of the obligations stipulated in the Exploration and Production Agreement, and for the drilling of the first exploration well in Block 9, which the consortium shall drill before the end of the first exploration period.
Knowing that the explosion at the port on the 4th of August caused damage to the supply base designated for the implementation of petroleum activities in Lebanese marine waters.
The Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration are also following up with the consortium the implementation of the work programs for the two blocks.