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Lebanese President Aoun: Start of Oil Drilling Historic Moment for the Country
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Wednesday that the country’s first endeavor into exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Mediterranean will be a historic moment.
“What we will witness tomorrow will be a historic day for Lebanon; it will separate what came before and what will come after,” Aoun said in a televised address.
The drill ship – the Tungsten Explorer – anchored off the coast of Beirut Tuesday and is set to begin drilling in maritime Block 4 "within a few hours," Aoun said.
It will carry out its operations for approximately two months, after which time the oil consortium contracted to drill will conduct an analysis of the findings.
Three outcomes are possible: no oil or gas being found, the discovery of relatively small deposits, or a commercially exploitable quantity. Even if it is found, it will take years to extract.
Aoun has long touted potential offshore oil and gas reserves as a source of wealth for Lebanon in the future.
“Our oil and gas wealth will be for all Lebanese,” he said Wednesday, adding that the drilling will be “the cornerstone for our ascent from the abyss and transformation of our economy into a productive one.”
Lebanon is currently facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment on the rise, the currency devaluing and state revenues declining.
Aoun said that the discovery of oil or gas would benefit all Lebanese people and create thousands of new jobs.
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