Qatar in talks with TotalEnergies, Eni for stake in Lebanon gas block

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Qatar is in talks with TotalEnergies SE and Eni SpA for a 30 percent stake in an exploration block in waters off Lebanon, QatarEnergy Chief Executive Officer Saad Al Kaabi said on Sunday.

The company is also in talks with the Lebanese government regarding the offshore gas block, Al Kaabi said at an event in Doha.

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Lebanon signed an historic agreement earlier this week with Israel that ended a decades-long dispute over maritime borders. Both countries, which are technically in a state of war, had laid claim to an area covering 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) that’s thought to be gas-rich.

The US-brokered pact will allow international companies to begin exploring for natural gas in the previously-contested waters in offshore Block 9, potentially leading to more energy exports to Europe in the coming years.

The TotalEnergies-led consortium, which included Eni and Novatek PJSC, won a bid to explore in Blocks 9 and 4 in late 2017. The group began drilling in Block 4 in 2020 but disappointing results halted further development. Russia’s Novatek withdrew this year from the exploration efforts.

Read more: Israel, Lebanon sign US-brokered maritime border deal in rare diplomatic feat

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