Bids on Le­banon off­shore en­ergy blocks close

Le­banon re­launched li­cens­ing round for five off­shore blocks in Jan­uary af­ter a de­lay

Gulf News - - REGION -

Le­banon’s En­ergy Min­is­ter Ce­sar Abi Khalil on Thurs­day said a ten­der had closed on a first round of off­shore en­ergy blocks, and told lo­cal me­dia that two con­sor­tia had sub­mit­ted bids.

It will take years for rev­enue from any of the blocks to start flow­ing to the coun­try, he said in a tele­vised news con­fer­ence.

“The first li­cens­ing round for oil ex­plo­ration closed,” he said. The coun­try’s pe­tro­leum au­thor­ity and the cab­i­net will eval­u­ate the bids, he added.

The lo­cal English-lan­guage Daily Star re­ported that Abi Khalil told it that two bids were sub­mit­ted and that there were French, Ital­ian and Rus­sian com­pa­nies in­volved in those bids.

Le­banon re­launched the li­cens­ing round for five off­shore blocks (1, 4, 8, 9 and 10) in Jan­uary af­ter a three­year de­lay due to po­lit­i­cal paral­y­sis. It ex­tended the bid dead­line in Septem­ber.

Le­banon sits on the Le­vant Basin in the east­ern Mediter­ranean along with Cyprus, Egypt, Is­rael and Syria. A num­ber of gas­fields have been dis­cov­ered there since 2009, such as the Le­viathan and Ta­mar fields.

A to­tal of 52 com­pa­nies qual­i­fied ear­lier in the year to bid in this round.

When the process was first launched in 2013, 46 com­pa­nies qual­i­fied to take part in bid­ding, 12 of them as op­er­a­tors, in­clud­ing Chevron Corp, To­tal SA and ExxonMo­bil Corp.

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