BEIRUT, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Water and Energy Minister Nada Boustani said on Saturday that Lebanon is preparing for oil and gas exploration in Block 4 of its territorial waters, the National News Agency reported.
"I assure the Lebanese that preparations for the drilling of the first oil well in Block 4 is very close. We will receive additional equipment and a drilling vessel which will enable us to start our work," Boustani said during her tour in Port of Beirut to check the equipment that the country has received for the drilling work.
According to the Lebanese minister, France's energy giant Total had signed a contract with the vessel that will do the drilling work and is currently working in Egypt.
The vessel will arrive in Lebanon in December or at the beginning of January to start work, Boustani revealed.
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks with a consortium of France's Total, Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek.
In April, Boustani announced the launch of Lebanon's second licensing round for offshore oil and gas exploration in five blocks, saying the deadline for submitting offers is January 2020.
Lebanon hopes to give a big boost to its economy through offshore energy discovery.