News / Middle East

    Lebanon, Cyprus Look to Natural Gas Reserves

    In this photo provided by the Cyprus Press and Information Office, the Noble Energy company's offshore oil and gas rig is seen some 185 kilometers off Cyprus' south coast, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011.
    In this photo provided by the Cyprus Press and Information Office, the Noble Energy company's offshore oil and gas rig is seen some 185 kilometers off Cyprus' south coast, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011.
    Paige Kollock
    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman have agreed to boost cooperation and look into ways to explore offshore oil and gas fields that experts believe may have abundant natural gas deposits.  But these energy fields lie in a politically tricky area in the waters between Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel. 
     
    In a meeting Thursday with the Lebanese president, the Cypriot leader touted the economic growth prospects that could come from the discovery of large reserves of hydrocarbons off the coasts of the two countries.
     
    Those hydrocarbon fields lie in waters between Cyprus and Lebanon and Israel, spanning what are called the exclusive economic zones of each country.
     
    Lebanon and Israel have overlapping claims to an area that spans about 850-square-kilometers of sea.
     
    While all three countries could all profit from finding energy reserves, maritime border disputes have prevented expedient exploration.
     
    "Now that we have the technology, our second problem becomes the politics.  We know where the border stands between Lebanon and Cyprus, what we did not know was the northernmost extent and the southernmost extent of the zone, said Lebanese University professor George Nasr, who is a civil engineer and researcher on sustainable development. "How do you draw the line from Lebanon to Cyprus? Cyprus signed a deal with Israel but the point was not the southernmost point, but the point northward of it. But basically we lost an entire triangle." 
     
    Some experts have estimated the natural gas reserves in Lebanon's claimed economic zone to be worth more than $40 billion at current market prices.
     
    Developing such reserves would be a boon to Lebanon, which does not produce any of its energy domestically.
     
    David Rowlands, chief executive officer of Spectrum, a Norway-based company that is doing seismic surveys of the area, says the potential energy reserves for Lebanon could exceed domestic needs.
     
    "At the moment, Lebanon imports all its energy, if there’s going to be sufficient gas stocks for Lebanon, it would way exceed domestic needs," he said. "There would be a considerable amount, maybe as much as 90 to 95 percent of the gas found which would be excess to domestic requirements that would go into the international market." 
     
    The Lebanese government has said it will open a bidding round in May.  But once contracts are set for exploration, Nasr, of Lebanese University, says harnessing the energy would take at least seven years.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora