Offshore Lebanon ripe for early explorers

March 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM

LONDON, March 26 (UPI) -- Frontier reserves off the Lebanese coast represent a rare opportunity for oil and natural gas companies, an exploration geologist said.

Lebanon set a Thursday deadline for pre-qualification for a licensing round set to kick off May 2. The country's deep-water acreage in the Mediterranean Sea is considered frontier territory. The government claims that parts of the giant Leviathan natural gas field offshore Israeli is in its territorial waters.

Neil Hodgson, exploration geologist at seismic survey company Spectrum, said the territory may have significant reserves for early developers.

"It's not many times in your career that you come across a basin that is completely untouched and yet is incredibly prospective," he was quoted by energy reporting website Rigzone as saying from London.

French consultant Beicip Franlab estimates the reserve potential offshore Lebanon at 440 million-675 million barrels of oil. Spectrum's data from a 769-square-mile area offshore indicate there may be 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place.

"This is the first chance that the industry has got to discover the wealth and the hydrocarbon promises that lie offshore (Lebanon)," Hodgson said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
First U.S.-made Kalashnikov AK-47s now being sold
More than $1B in new orders for Saab
Australian Air Force receives first C-27J transport
Donna Karan steps down from company bearing her name
Sea-based radar market tipped to grow over 10 years