Gas excavation tender offered in Lebanon
The Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water, Mohamed Baydhoun, said his ministry is presently preparing an international tender to excavate gas along Lebanon’s coast. According to Al-Hayat daily, Baydhoun stated that a British company is currently surveying the coast, and is expected to complete its geological analysis within six weeks. The study will determine which sites contain the largest recoverable gas reserves.
Excavation operations are to begin before the beginning of 2002, according to Baydhoun. The gas is projected to satisfy 25 to 50 percent of Lebanon’s domestic gas consumption, which stands at 12 million cubic meters per annum.
In addition to new gas exploration projects, the Lebanese government is determined to further boost its energy sector through privatization, which is to begin with the sector’s electricity and utility managements, and is to be completed before the end of the year.
The move is expected to attract investments and increase local revenues in an attempt to reduce the country’s $24 billion public debt—accounting for 150 percent of Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Furthermore, Baydhoun stated that Lebanon would soon sign an agreement in which 1.5 million cubic meters of Syrian natural gas would be purchased. In addition, a new gas pipeline project would connect Lebanon with Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. A fall of $250 million in Lebanon’s energy expenditures is anticipated as a result of this project.
Natural gas is considered more environmentally friendly, as well as cheaper than fuel oil. –(MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)