The CEOs of French major TotalEnergies, Italian heavyweight Eni and Qatar state giant QatarEnergy were all in Beirut last weekend to oversee the latter’s 30% farm-in to two Lebanese offshore blocks. Their presence served as a strong reminder of Lebanon’s continued influence, in Europe and the Gulf, despite its chronic financial and political plight.

QatarEnergy will take the 20% in Block 4 and 9 relinquished by Russian firm Novatek in September last year, as well as 5% each from Total and Eni (MEES, 27 January). While on the face of it the firms have more significant regional assets, namely discoveries in Cyprus and Egypt, that all three CEOs descended on Beirut sends a clear message. (CONTINUED - 1454 WORDS)