Lebanese gas is set to shake up the Middle East

Beirut, to exploit the new wealth, must find away to work with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

As of 20 March – and after more than a year of destructive delay – Lebanon officially has a new Cabinet, which for foreign oil companies should mean that the legislation necessary for offshore oil and gas exploration in the highly prospective Levant Basin should finally get underway.

The country's new Prime Minister, Tammam Salam – an economist and former Minister of Culture – said that his government plans to "accelerate measures related to licensing for oil drilling and extraction," after potential gas and oil reserves off its coast have raised hopes that Lebanon could in the long term bring down debt which stands at 140% of GDP.

Interest in Lebanese portion of the Levant Basin – a marine depression located in the Eastern Mediterranean between Cyprus on the West and the coastlines of Israel, Lebanon and Syria on the east – has been spurred by significant discoveries in Israel's portion of the Levantine Sea, where production at one field has already begun, and with the prospects of drilling offshore Cyprus.

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