President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday the accomplishments made by the energy ministry within a one-year time period at the level of building dams and signing international deals on the country's oil and gas wealth were “achievements delayed for years by fabricated obstacles.”
“The ministry of energy has made several achievements at the level of dams, oil and gas that have been previously delayed by fabricated hindrances,” Aoun told a visiting delegation led by Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil.
Lebanon will sign this week deals with a consortium of international oil and gas explorers-- France's Total, Italy's ENI and Russia's Novatek-- and would be ready to begin drilling by 2019.
In December, Lebanon approved a first bid to search for oil and gas in two blocks off the country's Mediterranean coast, including one that Israel says belongs to it.
Lebanon is looking to tap potential oil and gas reserves after major offshore discoveries by neighboring Israel and Cyprus.
On December 14, it approved a bid on blocks four and nine -- just two of the five that were offered.
Block nine is the disputed block with Israel.
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