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

US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

Governors of several East Coast states close schools, order travel bans, urge people to stay home as snowfall, heavy winds, flooding continue in areas More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid