By Sami Halabi
Hydrocarbon Geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean...
There’s an old saying in the oil industry: “Oil is like a wild animal. Whoever captures it has it.” The late American oil magnate, Jean Paul Getty, may have been talking about the oil and gas market of the 1950s, but his words continue to ring true. Ever since a joint US-Israeli exploration group headed by Texas-based Noble Energy discovered a large natural gas deposit at Tamar (90 kilometers off the coast of Haifa) in January, the proverbial animal has been officially let out of its cage in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Analysts estimate reserves at Tamar of around 142 billion cubic meters (BCM), valued at around $3.6 billion, with a $1.5 billion extraction cost. The discovery has been heralded by Noble’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Davidson as possibly “the largest discovery in the company’s history.” For a company like Noble that boasts assets of more than $12 billion, that’s no passing phrase.
Source: Noble Energy.
A thorny relationship
How much do they really have?
On the Lebanese side…
Move to water
Dollars for data
“PGS has not sold any data for the simple reason that companies, when they own data, need to know that they can do something with it, like participate in a bid round,” said Mourad.
Norway’s helping hand
Sharing with the enemy
Beirut- PGS Geophysical of Norway has started the implementation of the agreement it signed last May with Lebanon's Ministry of Water and Energy on the multi-client MC3D seismic for offshore Lebanon.
The Survey Ship Atlantic departed last Tuesday with several experts on board. The Ship will complete its mission in approximately seventy days. Representatives of Lebanon's Ministry of Energy and Water are also on board.
PSG released the following on the agreement:
PGS Geophysical AS has entered into an exclusive agreement with the Ministry of Water and Energy to acquire non-exclusive Multiclient MC3D seismic offshore Lebanon. The offshore area approximately covers 25,000 Sq.km
and will be the subject of future licensing to oil and gas companies in 2006/2014.
Offshore Lebanon is already recognized as a very prospective sedimentary basin with a favorable petroleum geology, source rock, reservoir and seal development. This has led to multiple play development and the recognition of several viable petroleum systems with favorable timing of hydrocarbon
Water depths are in the region of 100-2000m’s, with the area
located close to the Arab Gas Pipeline Project.
The area is dominated by the Levant Basin which has resulted from three main structural phases 1) Triassic to Early Jurassic rifting, 2) Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous passive margin development 3) Cenozoic compressional tectonics
There are no wells drilled in the area offshore Lebanon.
However, seven wells have been drilled onshore between 1947
and 1967 all with shows of gas and or bitumen giving some
indications to the regional geology/prospectivity.
In the offshore region within close proximity to Lebanon,
wells/fields are known to contain oil and gas reservoir/source
potential within the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary.