Qatar in talks to purchase 30 percent stake in Lebanon gas block

Qatar in talks to purchase 30 percent stake in Lebanon gas block
Lebanon is suspected to have huge offshore gas reserves which could present an opportunity for desperately needed funds for Beirut.
2 min read
31 October, 2022
Israel and Lebanon have held months of talks to start gas exploration [Getty]

Qatar is in talks with Lebanon and other energy companies about purchasing a 30 percent stake in a suspected huge Mediterranean gas field, according to reports on Sunday.

State-owned QatarEnergy is holding negotiations with France's TotalEnergies and Italy's ENI about the exploration block and expects an agreement "in due course", CEO Saad Al-Kaabi confirmed.

"We are in the process of discussing that with the government of Lebanon and the partners, Total and Eni for a participation of around 30 percent ownership of that exploration block," Al-Kaabi said.

"In due course when we get that basically finalised as an agreement and we sign that agreement, we will announce it."

The news came after sources told Reuters that a French company had concluded a deal with the Lebanese government to purchase a majority stake in the block.

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The deal will allow Qatar to join the French and Italian energy companies in exploring the waters for what could be huge reserves of gas.

An agreement on demarcating maritime boundaries between Lebanon and Israel was signed this month and allowed the stalled gas explorations to go ahead after months of wrangling.

Lebanon is suffering from one of the worse financial crises in history, amid a political deadlock and it is hoped that the gas finds will help fix these problems.

Gas is also being explored off the coasts of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, Egypt, Turkey, and Cyprus.

Reuters contributed to this story.