BEIRUT, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Energy Minister Nada Boustani announced Friday that she granted Total the license to drill Lebanon's first well in block 4 of the country's water territories, the National News Agency reported.
"The launch of this license and handing it over to the consortium of Total, Eni and Novatek is the first step in the discovery of potential oil and gas reserves in Lebanon," Boustani said during a press conference.
Boustani said that the vessel that will work on the drilling process will arrive from Egypt in January.
"The drilling process will take two months while we will need additional two months to verify if the discovered material is commercial or not," she said.
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.