"The company will install the drilling platform in 2023 based on the texts of the agreement with the Lebanese Petroleum Administration," a statement issued by the Lebanese Presidency quoted members of the delegation as saying during their meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
The meeting followed last week's announcement by Israel and Lebanon that they had reached a U.S.-brokered agreement over a disputed zone in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where natural gas fields are located. Total is given exploration rights to the Qana gas field under the agreement.
During Tuesday's meeting, members of the Total delegation informed Aoun about the preparations to start excavation in block 9 in the exclusive economic zone. Total has already started exploration in block 4 more than two years ago.
For his part, President Aoun said he hoped excavation in block 9 could start as soon as possible to make up for the time lost during indirect negotiations to demarcate the maritime border.
On Oct. 13, Aoun announced Lebanon's approval of the final version of the agreement proposed by the U.S. Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein.