Lebanon pols battle over energy ministry to control gasfields

1 Feb 2014   Lebanon

As deeply divided Lebanon struggles to form a new government after 10 months of political paralysis, one of the key issues is which faction will control the Energy Ministry and the development of potentially rich offshore gas fields. Indeed, it has become something of a Catch-22 situation that’s blocking progress toward extracting the rich natural gas fields that lie in 2,000 feet under the eastern Mediterranean that could rescue the tiny Mediterranean country from economic collapse. And, like just about everything else in Lebanon, the issue has assumed sectarian overtones with the various sects all wanting to control the financial bonanza that the gas fields, which officials say could hold at least 96 trillion cubic feet, plus 850 million barrels of oil, will bring — if drilling ever starts. Work on the 10 exploration blocks in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone cannot begin until […]

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