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Last Updated: March 2014

Overview


Map of Lebanon
Map of Lebanon
  • Lebanon relies heavily on energy imports to meet domestic demand. In 2010, the country imported 120,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of refined oil products, which accounted for over 90% of total primary energy demand in the country.
  • With an eye toward developing domestic oil and natural gas resources, the government of Lebanon announced that it hopes to complete a pre-qualification bid for exploration in the country's territorial waters by April 2014. The country's energy ministry already delayed the bid round for the 10 offshore blocks several times, in part due to issues surrounding the demarcation of the southern boundary of Lebanese territorial waters.
  • There is an ongoing dispute between Lebanon and Israel over their shared maritime boundary that could affect Lebanon's ability to proceed with its offshore development plans. The disputed region—which covers over 300 square miles—may contain potentially significant hydrocarbon resources given its location near the center of the Levant Basin. U.S. Geological Survey estimates from 2010 placed the potential mean recoverable resources in the Levant Basin at 1.7 billion barrels of oil and 122 Tcf of natural gas.
  • Lebanon's government estimates that there are potential natural gas reserves of 25 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) or more, located in its offshore territory, but until more exploration occurs, that figure remains speculative.
  • In the near-term, Lebanon will continue to be reliant on energy imports. The Arab Gas Pipeline promised to deliver volumes of natural gas from Egypt to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, but disruptions have been frequent and persistent due to the security environment in the region. With security issues in Egypt and Syria limiting the ability of overland deliveries, the majority of Lebanon's energy imports will likely continue to arrive via its Mediterranean ports.
  • Lebanon is a member of the Eight Country Interconnection Project, along with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey. The project integrates the electricity grids of all members, but regional instability—most recently in Syria—has cut off connections between several of the countries.