(MENAFN) Lebanon may be holding bigger than expected offshore natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean, local media reported.
The Daily Star has quoted David Rowlands, CEO of Norway-based Spectrum Company, which carried out a recent 3D seismic test, as saying that the small Middle Eastern country may be laying on natural gas deposits greater than that of both Cyprus and Syria.
He also said that processing data will not be complete until January 2013, according to the newspaper.
In its first study in 2010 of the Levant Basin, the offshore Mediterranean region which stretches from the north of Egypt to the north of Lebanon and south of Cyprus, the US Geological Survey estimated the area has about 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and holds 1.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil.
The chance of finding oil off the Lebanese coast is good; however gas appears more favorable, the newspaper cited Rowlands as saying.
Lebanon's parliament passed legislation that was supposed to pave the way for the exploration licenses, but it is still at the stage of carrying out seismic surveys of its territorial waters to collect data.
The Lebanese government has yet to name the six members for the Petroleum Committee which would oversee the issuance of the licenses.