Despite the great reserves hidden in the Lebanese waters, Lebanon is not yet an oil producing country. All the oil consumed in Lebanon (approx. 101,000 bbl/d) is imported. Although it is located near other Middle East countries that do produce oil, its geology is much different.
The leading Lebanese importers and distributors of petroleum products are MEDCO, TOTAL, IPT, HYPCO, UNITED, CORAL...
The top gas importer and distributor in Lebanon is Natgaz.
Lebanon used to be a refinery center for crude oil but both Lebanese oil refineries, Zahrani and Tripoli, had to be closed down due to damage and general instability caused by the civil war.
Zahrani and Tripoli refineries started to operate again in 2002.
Recent results of a seismic survey conducted by Spectrum (a British company) in Lebanese territorial waters - 12 miles (19 kilometers) according to international law -- indicated that there are thirty-one sites containing oil reservoirs. The Lebanese government is very optimistic about this potential discovery and is creating laws to permit production sharing agreements (PSAs) with foreign oil companies.
As a result of its geographic location, Lebanon was once considered a refinery center for crude oil that was exported from Iraq and Saudi Arabia by pipelines to two Lebanese coastal refineries, Zahrani in the south, and Tripoli in the north. However, due to years of internal and regional political unrest and war damage, these refineries have not been operational. The Tripoli plant has been closed since 1982 and was the main source of oil supplies for Lebanon.