Following the recent announcement that the Lebanese government has approved the opening of the country’s much-anticipated 2nd offshore licensing round, Energean Oil and Gas plc announced on 15 April that the Karish North exploration well has made a significant gas discovery. Preliminary analysis by Energean indicates initial gas in-place estimates of between 1 Tcf and 1.5 Tcf in high quality reservoirs in the B and C sands, which adds to the already significant discovered gas and thermogenic light oil volumes in Karish. Crucially, this latest discovery is less than 30km from Spectrum’s 3D survey in southern Lebanon, overlapping blocks 8 and 5 in the current licensing round, where we the source rock is sitting directly below a very thick reservoir section with large associated structural closures and is modelled to be in the oil window.
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) detailed a total of five offshore blocks to be offered in the 2nd round – Blocks 1,2, 5, 8 and 10. They indicated that tenders will not be preceded by a separate pre-qualification process, as was the case in the 1st round, in order to streamline the process and allow oil companies additional time for evaluation. Interested companies are asked to submit their bids by 31st January 2020 and provisional block winners are expected to be announced during April 2020.
The legal framework for the second round has largely remained unchanged from the first but pre-qualification criteria have been slightly loosened to encourage greater participation.
Following the prominent Zohr discovery, which opened up a different play type to those of the Leviathan and Aphrodite discoveries, much of the eastern Mediterranean has seen a renewed focus of exploration activity. With this increased level of interest, Lebanon’s 2nd offshore licensing round provides a timely opportunity to gain access to favourable acreage in this emerging region.
ExxonMobil, along with partners Qatar Petroleum, recently announced a multi-TCF discovery of gas in the Glaucus-1 well offshore Cyprus. The well encountered a gas-bearing reservoir of ~133 metres with in-place resources estimated to be 3-5 TCF. This discovery brings the total announced gas reserves in the region up to 70 TCF.
Spectrum has acquired and interpreted over 5,000 km2 of modern Multi-Client 3D data offshore Lebanon, covering 3 of the 4 blocks announced for inclusion in the 2nd licensing round. Through this data, Spectrum has shown that the Early Miocene reservoir indicates a string of three-way dip closed and one-way fault closed structures that range in size from 20 to 50 km2, capped by thick Late Miocene mudstones. These are similar in size to the Tamar structure (9 TCF) to the south but less highly faulted.
For more information on the 2nd licensing round and the hydrocarbon prospectivity offshore Lebanon, check out our exclusive interactive map HERE