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

15 Jan 24
Lebanon announces its Third Offshore Licensing Round
Lebanon announced its Third Offshore Licensing Round on December 27 2023. Closing date for bids is July 2 2024.
30 Jan 23
Lebanon: QatarEnergy joins TotalEnergies and Eni on two exploration blocks
TotalEnergies and Eni have completed the transfer to QatarEnergy of a 30% interest in exploration Blocks 4 and 9 off the coast of Lebanon. TotalEnergies, along with our partners, are committed to drilling as soon as possible in 2023 an exploration well in Block 9.
12 Dec 22
Lebanon: TotalEnergies mobilises to explore Block 9, offshore Lebanon, in 2023
TotalEnergies has announced plans to drill in Block 9, offshore Lebanon, in 2023. The decision follows the agreement on the maritime boundary which was reached between Israel and Lebanon on October 27, 2022.
15 Nov 22
Lebanon: TotalEnergies to launch exploration activities on Block 9 after agreement on maritime border line between Israel and Lebanon
Following the signature of a Framework Agreement regarding the maritime border line between Israel and Lebanon, the Block 9 partners, TotalEnergies and Eni, will initiate the exploration of an already identified prospect which might extend both in Block 9 and into Israel waters south of the recently established Maritime Border Line.
01 Nov 22
Lebanon: Exploration resumes offshore Lebanon following border demarcation with Israel
Lebanon can now move forward with confidence to explore its southern blocks, after the finalization last week of an understanding with Israel on their maritime border. Eight blocks remain on offer in the Lebanese Second Offshore Licensing round. PGS has MultiClient data covering all blocks on offer.

Lebanon - more news

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