PARIS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A French oil and natural gas consultant group said there may be more than 400 million barrels of oil off the coast of Lebanon.
French consultant Beicip Franlab estimates the reserve potential offshore Lebanon at 440 million-675 million barrels of oil, reports Lebanese news portal Naharnet.
The Lebanese government is pressing ahead with plans to court international energy investors to explore potential offshore reserves. The offshore area is considered frontier territory, though Beirut has said parts of the Leviathan natural gas field offshore Israel are in its territorial waters.
Naharnet reports that Lebanon has boasted of oil and natural gas discoveries near the maritime borders with Israel and Cyprus, though no reserve estimate was listed.
The Lebanese and Cypriot governments in January agreed to increase cooperation in the offshore natural gas sector.
Cyprus has an estimated 12 trillion cubic feet and has agreements with Egypt and Israel to examine transboundary hydrocarbon deposits.