Energy Minister Gebran Bassil says natural gas reserves off Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast are far greater than previously estimated, saying there may be 95.9 trillion cubic feet plus 865 million barrels of oil. The estimates mark a massive increase in Lebanon’s potential energy wealth, fueling growing expectations the violence-prone country is on the brink of a boom that will, at a stroke, eliminate its deepening economic distress — a debt approaching $60 billion — as it stumbles from day to day without a government and faces calamity from the spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria. Indeed, the figures cited by Bassil, whose term has been marked by a steadily deteriorating electrical supply that leaves much of Lebanon without power daily, are almost too good to be true, even with his caveats. “The current estimate, with a probability of 50 percent, for almost […]