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NGO sets out recommendations for Lebanon's oil and gas sector

Oct 16

NGO sets out recommendations for Lebanon's oil and gas sector

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative has compiled a set of recommendations intended to improve practices within Lebanon’s nascent oil and gas sector, in a statement released Monday.

LOGI’s 10 recommendations are designed to complement a new law, approved by joint parliamentary committees at the end of September, aimed at ensuring transparency in oil and gas contracts. Caretaker Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said at the time that the law could be optimized by watchdogs to monitor administrative decisions and activities.

Among the recommendations put forward by the Beirut-based NGO, in cooperation with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, was for the new Cabinet, once formed, to pass a decree with the “real names” of owners and companies working in the oil and gas sector, in accordance with Article 10 of the law.

The NGO also recommended, in accordance with the law’s Article 9, that “all revenues generated from petroleum activities should be stated.”

Diana Kaissy, LOGI’s executive director, told The Daily Star that the recommendations came on the back of observing developments in the sector over the past year. “They are recommendations addressed to everybody, all the stakeholders, emphasizing what more needs to be done,” she said.

LOGI also announced a series of panel discussions that will bring together MPs and representatives of political parties, which will be followed by individual meetings with stakeholders, in hopes of gathering support for its recommendations.

Current shortcomings in the sector include “not having a national strategy that sets exactly what it is that we need to do first [and] not having set an overall objective,” Kaissy said. “We don’t have a comprehensive and agreed-upon strategy. Once you have that I’m sure things are going to have more of a concrete, logical manner of proceeding.”