Friday 22 June 2018

Lebanon extends deadline for oil exploration bids

BEIRUT, September 9, 2017

Lebanese government has extended a deadline for bids in its first licensing round for offshore oil and gas exploration by four weeks to October 12, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported on Friday.

Prior to this development, the last date for submitting the bids was September 15, stated the report, citing the country's energy ministry.

The decision was taken based on the recommendation of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), it added.

As per the original plan, the pre-qualification exercise got over in March and the prequalified companies were set to submit their bids this month followed by signing of the EPAs in November.

Earlier this year, Wissam Chbat, chairman of LPA board, said Lebanon was on target with its first licensing round and that oil and gas companies still had a big appetite for investing in the country.

"The road map to the first licensing round will start with a second pre-qualification round for both operators and non operators interested in exploration and production contracts," he noted.

Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil had earlier announced that three partially-disputed offshore blocks bordering Israel will be among the five up for bidding in Lebanon’s first oil and gas licensing round.  The assigned blocks are 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10, he added.

The key players in the race include global giants Petrobras, Maersk, Total, Eni, Petronas, Shell, Statoil, Chevron, ExxonMobil and India's ONGC Videsh.

Chbat pointed out that the promotional strategy of the LPA had shown to be quite successful, raising additional interest by the industry to invest in the Lebanese petroleum sector.

"LPA has adopted two main tools - de-risking investments through making (geologic) data available prior to any commitment with the (Lebanese) state; and relying heavily on local, regional and international forums and exhibitions to also promote Lebanon," he noted.

Lebanon is committed to transparency in its oil and gas activities, and that has been a very important factor in creating confidence and in attracting international investors, added Chbat.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: lebanon | Deadline | oil exploration bids |

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