Total to launch sea exploration after Lebanon-Israel deal

Nov 15, 2022, 4:08 AM | Updated: 4:26 am
FILE - Stephane Michel, then president of Total Middle East and North Africa, speaks during a signi...

FILE - Stephane Michel, then president of Total Middle East and North Africa, speaks during a signing ceremony to start exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas in Beirut, Lebanon on Feb. 9, 2018. The French oil giant Total said Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 it will soon launch exploration activities in search for gas in the Mediterranean off Lebanon's coast following last month's historic deal between Lebanon and Israel on their maritime border. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

(AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — French oil giant Total said Tuesday it would soon launch exploration activities in search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast, following last month’s Lebanon-Israel deal on their maritime border.

According to a statement, TotalEnergies and its partner, Italy’s ENI, signed with Israel a so-called “Framework Agreement” to implement the U.S.-mediated border agreement reached last month. Lebanon and Israel have been formally at war since Israel’s creation in 1948.

The border deal envisages that the disputed waters would be divided along a line straddling the “Qana” natural gas field in the Mediterranean. Total said gas production would be based on the Lebanese side, in the so-called Block 9, but Israel would be compensated for gas extracted from its side of the line, under a separately signed deal between Total and Israel.

The company’s statement said TotalEnergies would have 60% stake in the operation and ENI the rest.

“TotalEnergies, as the operator of block 9, is proud to be associated with the peaceful definition of a maritime border between Israel and Lebanon,” said TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

“By bringing our expertise in offshore exploration, we will respond to the request of both countries to assess the materiality of hydrocarbon resources and production potential in this area,” Pouyanné added.

The exploration was expected to start next year. Cash-strapped Lebanon hopes that future gas discoveries will help the small Mideast nation pull itself out of the worst economic and financial crisis in the country’s modern history.

Lebanese officials have said the maritime border agreement does not represent any form of normalization of relations between the two countries.

Lebanon approved licenses in 2017 for an international consortium including Total, ENI and Russia’s Novatek to move forward with offshore oil and gas development for two of the 10 blocks in the Mediterranean.

Novatek recently withdrew and Lebanese officials, including Energy Minister Walid Fayad, have said that Qatar is interested in filling that gap.

Lebanon has since reached out to Syria and Cyprus to start direct negotiations over its northern and western maritime border with them as well.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              FILE - A helicopter flies over a base of the U.N. peacekeeping force, in the southern town of Naqoura, Lebanon on Oct. 14, 2020. The French oil giant Total said Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 it will soon launch exploration activities in search for gas in the Mediterranean off Lebanon's coast following last month's historic deal between Lebanon and Israel on their maritime border. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)
            
              FILE - Stephane Michel, then president of Total Middle East and North Africa, speaks during a signing ceremony to start exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas in Beirut, Lebanon on Feb. 9, 2018. The French oil giant Total said Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 it will soon launch exploration activities in search for gas in the Mediterranean off Lebanon's coast following last month's historic deal between Lebanon and Israel on their maritime border. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

AP

FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sho...
Associated Press

US plans end to mpox public health emergency in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government plans to end in January the public health emergency it declared earlier this year after an outbreak of mpox infected more than 29,000 people across the U.S. Mpox cases have plummeted in recent weeks, with just a handful of new infections being reported every week in the month of […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A Dixie Valley toad sits atop grass in Dixie Valley, Nev., on April 6, 2009. The tiny Nevada...
Associated Press

Endangered listing for Nevada toad in geothermal power fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A tiny Nevada toad at the center of a legal battle over a geothermal power project has officially been declared an endangered species after U.S. wildlife officials temporarily listed it on a rarely-used emergency basis last spring. “This ruling makes final the listing of the Dixie Valley toad,” the U.S. Fish […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeffrey Lyash speaks with the Times Free Press from the...
Associated Press

Utility recommends natural gas plant despite objections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest public utility on Friday recommended replacing an aging coal burning power plant with natural gas, ignoring calls for the Tennessee Valley Authority to speed its transition to renewable energy. TVA announced the completion of its environmental impact statement for replacing the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Cumberland City, Tennessee. […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Friday 12/2/2022

Worries about inflation weighed on Wall Street, leaving major indexes mixed after another bumpy day of trading. A government report showing that wage growth accelerated last month spooked investors since it could mean the Federal Reserve will be less able to ease up on its fight against inflation. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Crimina...
Associated Press

Jury to begin deliberations at Harvey Weinstein rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The jury has received the case and are set to begin deliberations Friday afternoon in the Los Angeles trial of Harvey Weinstein. Jurors will have to decide on two rape counts and five other sexual assault counts after hearing more than four weeks of evidence in the trial of the 70-year-old […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Marvell, Veeva fall; Smartsheet, PagerDuty rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Friday: Marvell Technology Inc., down 68 cents to $44.72. The chipmaker gave investors a weak financial forecast. UiPath Inc., up $1.61 to $14.53. The enterprise automation software developer reported strong third-quarter earnings and revenue. Veeva Systems Inc., down $16.52 to $174.90. The […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Total to launch sea exploration after Lebanon-Israel deal