Nazarian, Petroleum Administration Say Offshore Geological Data Wasn't Handed Over to Anyone

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Energy and Water Minister Arthur Nazarian and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration stressed Wednesday that any data resulting from geological surveys for the country's offshore gas and oil “has not been handed over to any side,” refuting media reports.

This data “is the property of the Lebanese state, and the ministry and the administration are exerting efforts to maintain it and safeguard it in line with the applicable laws,” Nazarian and the LPA said in a joint statement.

They clarified that the media reports contained information related to “the two-dimensional seismic survey that was conducted in 1993 in the area off the northern coast which stretches from Ras al-Shaqaa to the northern border with Syria.”

“This data is in the possession of the Lebanese state (Ministry of Energy and Water) and it was not handed over to any side with the aim of copying it on modern hard disk drives or for analysis,” the statement underlined.

However, it did not deny that an agreement was signed with Norway to “support the Lebanese institutions and build their capabilities in the issue of oil and gas, through the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration and some other relevant ministries.”

Earlier on Wednesday, As Safir newspaper reported that some Lebanese officials were exerting efforts to hand over the data of a geological survey for the country's offshore gas and oil in the North to Norway's Petroleum Commission.

The daily said the alleged move could have hidden intentions such as an attempt to draw the attention of new companies in an illegal way to join the country's tenders and take part in exploring Lebanon's offshore oil and gas wealth in return for certain financial gains.

Experts warned in comments to the newspaper that the data is considered part of the country's “oil national security,” stressing that it should be classified.

“Leaking the data or handing it over to any side is prohibited,” the experts stressed.

The experts warned of handing the data over to any foreign country “which could risk leaking the data or publishing it without Lebanon's consent,” noting that “it could enormously harm Lebanon's strategic interests.”

Lebanon is seeking to renew the interest of international companies in offshore oil exploration despite the stalling of the government in issuing licenses and amid reports that Israel is “stealing” Lebanese gas.

Last August, the government postponed for the fifth time the first round of licensing for gas exploration over a political dispute.

The disagreements were over the designation of blocks open for bidding and the terms of a draft exploration agreement.

Meanwhile, As Safir reported that Lebanon's stalemate in exploring its natural oil and gas wealth granted Israel time to hold a $15 billion dollars gas deal with Jordan and another worth $47 billion with Egypt.

In March 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 34.5 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, which includes the territorial waters of Lebanon, Israel, Syria and Cyprus.

Lebanon argues that a maritime map it submitted to the U.N. is in line with an armistice accord drawn up in 1949, an agreement which is not contested by Israel.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Amos Hochstein, who is following up the maritime dispute between Lebanon and Israel, reportedly delayed a visit to Beirut until Lebanese officials agree on the petroleum decrees.

There are sharp differences between officials on the endorsement of two oil decrees -- the first tackles the demarcation of the 10 maritime oil blocks, and touches on the division of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to several blocks that are not entirely equal, while the second decree, which is linked to setting up a revenue-sharing model, tackles the contracts signed with the international companies.


Comments 18
Missing humble 04 March 2015, 09:57

Yalla in the pockets of the politicians...

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 14:16

This debt could erase the debt that hariri left us, and take us out of the perpetual state of bankruptcy and mendicity we're in thanks to him.

Of course these natural resources could be a curse if they are mismanaged, or if they entice the US/raelis to destroy the country so they can steal our oil and gas, but if well used it can be our key to true sovereignty, where we wouldnt need any "donations" to barely survive or equip the army.

Missing peace 04 March 2015, 18:24

texas: M8ers will NEVER acknowledge that the main theives of lebanese wealth were the syrians. they set up the corruption system to better control lebanese politicians among which dozens of present M8ers...
they prefer to put it on one man... much simpler to designate a scapegoat rather than pointing at their "ally, the sister of Lebanon" as they call the assad regime!

and they also forget that aoun pointed that out not me! LOL

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 19:48

Indeed Syria took advantage of Lebanon, there's no denying that, but did you forget who the "loyal lebanese allies" who helped them were? Who was holding all the government keys at the time?
Hariri came to lebanon with 3bn$, and a couple of years later his wealth was estimated at 14bn$, not to mention all his relatives and co-conspirators like siniora and many others who became billionaires overnight.

Missing peace 04 March 2015, 20:10

funny as i said you only mention hariri and sinioura... but ALWAYS omit to mention your M8 friends... weren't they part of all the syrian governments?
this is called propaganda mooowaten as you deliberately ONLY focus on one or two people but ALWAYS forget all those now M8 leaders who also got rich "overnight"! LOL
oh! and hariri was a businessman too with many companies... he only made his fortune by stealing Lebanon? LOL
what about your M8 friends who weren't not businessmen but also got rich thanks to stealing lebanese wealth!

pityful you are.... your propaganda is fooling no one but you brainwashed people...

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 20:19

Anonyme what are you saying? Those who robbed Lebanon blind alongside Syrians are just forgiven "because it's the past"? These are the worst, those who under occupation collaborated, facilitated the theft, and took advantage making immense fortunes for themselves on the expense of their own people. Collaborating with the occupying country against your own country, getting cosy with the occupier while your people suffers from them is treason and worse than treason!
Yet suddenly when Syria got out, stopped taking advantage of Lebanon they turned against it and suddenly became your beacons of moral values and figureheads of sovereignty!?

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 20:20

Hezbollah and others who are today maintaining good relations with Syria are doing so on a mutual respect basis, there is no theft going on, no abuse, no occupation, no dictating what we do.
There was a time to oppose Syria and now is a time to embrace healthy relations with it, m14 did the opposite, collaborating when they were occupiers and pouring oil on the fire when they are not. And both times it was against Lebanon's interests.

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 20:26

Please tell when how and who in m8 made billions like hariri, or even like joumblat. Hariri had companies? Like what? Oger? Oger can't make a buck without the royal family subsidizing it, and has been in a state of bankruptcy for years now. It certainly didnt make him 11bn$ in 2 years. As for Solidere we all know how Hariri used his power as PM to expropriate people and steal the heart of Beirut to give it to his private company. Syrians were not even in on this one.

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 20:30

And Aoun was not even here. So the only one you could try to hang on to is Berri, but Berri never had a ministry, and ministries are where the money is stolen. Biggest cash cows are the ministries of Finance, Public Works, Energy (which Hobeika had for a few years under Syrian occupation), and Refugees (Joumblatt had it and 3bn$ allocated to it went unaccounted for). Not to mention the 11bn$ that went missing under Saniora after the Syrians went out. Stop hallucinating anonyme, look into the facts.

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 20:37

And it's quite funny you mention the Madina scandal, because

"Al-Madina and its subsidiary, United Credit Bank (UCB), are owned by two Druze brothers with dual Lebanese-Saudi citizenship from the town of Baakline, Adnan and Ibrahim Abu Ayash. Adnan, an engineer by profession, made his fortune in Saudi Arabia owing to his friendship with Nasser al-Rashid, an influential advisor to King Fahd. In 1984, he purchased Al-Madina from its Saudi owners and appointed his brother deputy chairman."

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 21:24

Why they do not prosecute m14 I don't know (political pressures? saudi threats? lack of political power - most governments are headed by m14 PMs, even the only gov that was m8 was headed by miqati, a m14-light), but believe me I wish they did.
In any case, this does not mean it did not happen!

As for you accusations against they are totally baseless and super vague (what oil and bad mazout scandals?), if you have any source or additional details please be my guest, throwing random accusations without giving specific facts is completely unacceptable in any sane discussion.
Same goes for the qassioun highway, I tried to google it but only found a comment by you dating from may 2014 where you were saying it was 21m$.km (did it deflate by 50% in 1 year?)

Missing peace 04 March 2015, 21:42

mooowaten you are really dishonest... double standards is what you know best

you tell texas his accusations are baseless and false while you do the EXACT same thing! when you say "Hariri came to lebanon with 3bn$, and a couple of years later his wealth was estimated at 14bn$"

it is pure assumption... and "throwing random accusations without giving specific facts is completely unacceptable in any sane discussion."

M8 was leading the country they could have filed suits against "corrupted" M14! but why don't they do it and bark like you and aoun? because it would mean your beloved M8 leaders would also have to be filed and tell how they all made their fortunes! aoun wrote a book accusing left and right but did anyone used his accusations to file suits? NO ...
so your accusations are baseless and you know that syria stole the most of lebanon's wealth not just one man as you pretend...

( i guess aoun is a liar and throws false accusations when he said that too!)

Default-user-icon abouramiya (Guest) 04 March 2015, 14:01

Mr berri is worried that Mr bassil is going behind his back showing the data around. They have yet to agree on hoe to divide of the commission amongst themselves and their people.

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 14:11

it's not staying underground, israel is pumping it

Missing phillipo 04 March 2015, 15:36

Another of your brilliant fabricated comments. It is about time that then you claim something you should be able to back it up with facts.

Thumb _mowaten_ 04 March 2015, 15:45

zahhet phillipo, I dont speak to israelis.

Missing phillipo 05 March 2015, 07:50

zahhet phillipo, I dont speak to israelis.

Mowaten - you don't speak to anyone, you speak at them.
Israelis, British, Chinese, American, Russian, what do you care, you wouldn't believe the truth if it was pushed into your face a hundred times a day.

Missing un520 04 March 2015, 14:44

Trust me, Norway is the last place you wanna go if the aim was to "to draw the attention of new companies in an illegal way to enter the country's tenders and take part in exploring Lebanon's offshore oil and gas wealth in return to a certain commission"
Yes, its very plausable that the Lebanese officials would want help and expertise from one of the worlds most high-tech nations when it comes to deepwater exloration, development and oil/gas-production. Norway also has developed mechanisms that enables favourable business environment for foreign companies while at the same time generates huge oil renevues to the state.
It is more than likely that someone who is afraid of getting his share of the profit is the source behind this article.