Total, which is part of a consortium consisting of Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek, plans to start exploring for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean waters offshore Lebanon, as reported by The National.

The company’s exploration activities will commence by drilling a well in Block 4.

“The launch of this licence 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,” Lebanese Energy Minister, Nada Boustani said.

The agreement entails that the drilling process could span over the course of two months, in addition to two extra months to evaluate the commercial viability of any potential gas discoveries, according to Boustani.

The Total-led consortium won two blocks offshore in Lebanon’s first licensing round held under the government of now caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri.