DUBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) – No hydrocarbon finds were made after exploratory drilling operations at Lebanon’s offshore Block 9, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.
Lebanon’s energy minister and officials from the Lebanese Petroleum Administration declined to comment.
The consortium drilling in Block 9 is led by France’s TotalEnergies and includes Italian oil giant ENI and state-owned QatarEnergy. TotalEnergies declined to comment, while QatarEnergy and Eni did not immediately reply to a request for comment by Reuters.
The TransOcean Barents began drilling in late August and was set to have preliminary results by the end of this month or in November.
One of the sources told Reuters that they had “hit water” while drilling, meaning no oil or gas had been found.
Block 9 is one of the blocks falling alongside the newly delineated maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.
The boundary was drawn last year following U.S.-mediated talks.
Drilling at the exploratory well had not stopped despite several days of clashes along the land border with Israel, Lebanon’s energy minister had told Reuters on Wednesday.
Lebanon hopes gas and oil discoveries will help it to reverse a crippling economic crisis that has cost the local currency more than 98% of its value, eroded the country’s foreign reserves and caused rolling blackouts across towns and cities.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan Maya Gebeily and Ron Bousso; additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Francesca Landini; editing by Mark Heinrich and Louise Heavens)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.
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