Lebanon to start oil, gas exploration in days: minister

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BEIRUT, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's Agriculture and Culture Minister Abbas Mortada announced on Sunday that Lebanon will start oil and gas exploration activities on Thursday, the National News Agency reported.

"This will bring some relief to the Lebanese people and will constitute an opportunity for improving our economic situation," Mortada said during his meeting with a delegation from the southern municipalities in Lebanon.

In December 2019, former Energy Minister Nada Boustani granted France's Total the license to drill Lebanon's first well in Block 4 in the country's water territories.

In April 2019, Boustani announced the launch of Lebanon's second licensing round for offshore oil and gas exploration in five blocks.

In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks with a consortium of Total, Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek.

Lebanon hopes to give a big boost to its economy through offshore energy discovery.

The country is suffering from a huge public debt that has increased to an alarming level of more than 89 billion U.S. dollars. Enditem

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