Lebanon approves offshore oil & gas decrees

Lebanese government has approved two offshore oil and gas decrees, which means the country’s offshore licensing round, stalled since 2013, can now begin. 

The decrees, passed by the Lebanese cabinet on Wednesday, lay out conditions related to the licensing round and the exploration and production model agreement.

According to Lebanese National News Agency (NNA), the country’s Information Minister, Melhem Riachy, announced the long-anticipated decrees had been passed by the cabinet, which also formed a ministerial committee chaired by the Prime Minister and the membership of the Ministers of Finance and Energy, to examine the special tax provisions related to petroleum activities.

In addition, a committee to study the project law related to the Petroleum resources was formed, led by the Prime Minister and the membership of Ministers of finance, energy and planning.

The news agency further reported that the country is “serious” about finalizing its first licensing round of oil and gas exploration.

The NNA quoted the country’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Cezar Abi Khalil, as saying: “Blocks will be opened according to the study carried out by the Petroleum Administration Committee, as well as according to the requirements of the Lebanese state,” he said, revealing that five blocks will be open to bids.

According to Reuters, Beirut estimates it has 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore.

The country launched its first offshore licensing round in 2013 but failed to see it through due to political turmoil. Reuters reported that 46 companies qualified to take part in bidding, including Chevron, Total, and ExxonMobil.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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