Lebanon passes decrees to kick-start oil and gas field tendering

05 January 2017

New government agrees on contract model to auction offshore energy assets

The Lebanese government has passed two decrees allowing the start of a tendering process for the country’s oil and gas blocks.

The tenders have been stalled since 2013 due to disagreements between Lebanon’s political parties but the new government led by Prime Minister Saad Harari has passed new measures to map out the conditions for auctioning energy assets.

The action was reported by the state-run National News Agency, which did not disclose details on the production-sharing contracts or tendering process.

Beirut estimates the country has 96 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil located offshore. The government prequalified 46 companies in 2013 to take part in the tendering process.

Lebanon has lagged behind Egypt, Israel and Cyprus in developing offshore assets in the east Mediterranean Sea.

Lebanon currently imports more than 90 per cent of its energy needs, which is a huge drain on government revenues. New gas production assets could allow Lebanon to boost its underfunded power sector, which has been subject to electricity shortages.

Lebanon has been without a president for two years due to a standoff between political factions. In October 2016 Michel Aoun was elected president as Hariri became prime minister.


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