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Second oil and gas licensing round launched

Apr 07

Second oil and gas licensing round launched

400 km2 will require Syria border negotiations

The Cabinet has opened a second licensing round for offshore oil and gas.

It approved the Lebanese Petroleum Administration’s (LPA) recommendation to open blocks one, five, eight, and ten, and added block two to them.

The licensing round will be open until January 31, 2020. “We extended the round one month compared to the first round in order to give companies time to form consortiums,” said Wissam Chbat, member of the LPA.

He said that during the first round, time ran out before some companies were able to form consortiums, which reduced competition between prequalified consortiums. Only one consortium, formed by Total, Eni, and Novatek, bid for blocks four and nine in the first round.

The demarcation of blocks one and two will require negotiations on the demarcation with neighboring Syria. There are around 400 square kilometers (km2) of disputed waters.

This matter is similar to a dispute Lebanon is having with Israel, over 800 km2 in blocks 8 and 9, in the southern part of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The U.S. attempted several mediation initiatives, but no concrete results have been achieved.

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