According to reliable source familiar with the recent agreement between Speaker Mr. Nabih Berry and Minister Gebran Bassil, a settlement was reached to open 4 offshore blocks for tenders; and to award 2 or 3 Blocks, depending on the quality of the offers which will be received from the bidders. The blocks to be opened are 1, 4, 9 and 10.
Next step to push forward Lebanon First Licensing Round, is to approve two pending decrees by the Lebanese Government. The first decree delineates the Lebanese offshore in 10 blocks, and the second sets the tender protocol and the model exploration and production agreement (EPA) to be signed between the Lebanese Government and the successful bidders.
Furthermore, both parties agreed to push to finalize the taxation law of the Oil Companies. This law needs to be approved by the Lebanese parliament which did not convene since years.
It is expected that the Lebanese Government will approve the pending two decrees by the end of July 2016. According to the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) website “the deadline to submit bids for the first licensing round shall take place in a maximum period of six months from the date of the adoption of the two decrees”.
In 2013 the LPA undertook a pre-qualification process for oil and gas companies that are interested in participating in the licensing round. Twelve oil majors were pre-qualified as Right-Holders Operators and 34 as Right-Holders Non-operators. The Lebanese Offshore Petroleum Resources Law stipulates that, to be allowed to participate, bidders must form a consortium containing at least one Right-Holder Operator and two Right-Holders Non-operators in order to participate in the bidding process.
However, it is expected that a second pre-qualification process will be launched during the period of the tender preparation in case new players want to participate in the Licensing Round.
Lebanon Gas News Editor.