Middle East / Africa

Lebanon flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Lebanon

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows
Terrain: narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
Size: 10400 sq. km total (Land area: 10230 sq. km  Water area: 170 sq.km)
Population: 3,971,941 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Government: republic
Capital city: Beirut
Legal system: mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP)

Country profile

Following the capture of Syria from the Ottoman Empire by Anglo-French forces in 1918, France received a mandate over this territory and separated out the region of Lebanon in 1920. France granted this area independence in 1943. A lengthy civil war (1975-1990) devastated the country, but Lebanon has since made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater voice in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, Lebanon has conducted several successful elections.

Most militias have been disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, a radical Shi'a organization listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, retains its weapons. During Lebanon's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Syria's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 and the passage in October 2004 of UNSCR 1559 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces as well.

The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI and 20 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"), and Syria withdrew the remainder of its military forces in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a majority to the bloc led by Saad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son. Lebanon continues to be plagued by violence - Hizballah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in July 2006 leading to a 34-day conflict with Israel.

The LAF in May-September 2007 battled Sunni extremist group Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr al-Barid Palestinian refugee camp; and the country has witnessed a string of politically motivated assassinations since the death of Rafiq HARIRI. Lebanese politicians in November 2007 were unable to agree on a successor to Emile LAHUD when he stepped down as president, creating a political vacuum.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Consumption: 106,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Imports: 102,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Reserves: NaN   
Major fields:

Lebanon - recent news

21 May 20
Lebanon confirms Second Licensing Round applications submission date
PGS reports that the deadline for the submission of the licensing round applications for the Lebanon Second Offshore Licensing Round, initially set to 31 January 2020 and later postponed to 30 April 2020, has been extended to 1 June 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
29 Apr 20
Lebanon: Total's Byblos exploration well offshore Lebanon disappoints
Lebanon's state new agency NNA reports that Total E&P Liban, the operator of the JV for Block 4, offshore Lebanon, has completed the drilling of the Byblos well 16/1 to a depth of 4,076 m. The well penetrated the entire Oligo-Miocene target section but encountered only gas shows and did not encounter any reservoirs of the Tamar formation, which was the target of the exploration well.
05 Apr 20
Lebanon extends deadline for licensing due to COVID-19
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) has announced a postponement of the closing date for its ongoing second offshore exploration licensing round in response to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. The new deadline is 1 June 2020.
26 Feb 20
Total-led consortium starts drilling Lebanon's first offshore oil and gas exploration well
Lebanon's much-delayed search for offshore oil and gas is set to begin as a Total-led consortium prepares to spud the first well offshore Lebanon, with the results expected in the next two months, the chairman of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration said.
19 Jan 20
Lebanon announces extension to 2nd Offshore Licensing Round
Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration have announced an extension of the application deadline for the 2nd Offshore Licensing Round. Companies are invited to submit their applications for Blocks 1, 2, 5, 8 and 10 before the 30th April 2020.

Lebanon - more news

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