EAGE: Stall continues for Lebanon licensing round

Lebanon’s Petroleum Administration (LPA) awaits government action to finalize the country’s licensing round announced Apr. 18, 2013. A spokesman from Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) represented the Lebanon’s Petroleum Administration in absentia at the European Association of Geophysicists & Engineers’ annual conference on June 17.

The country has delineated 10 blocks, five of which are offered in the tender, although the act has not been ratified by Lebanese officials. In addition, the final versions of the country’s exploration and production agreement have not been decreed.

“The country currently has no president serving in office,” the spokesman said. On May 24 President Michel Suleiman’s 6-year term expired and the Lebanese Parliament failed to appoint a successor. The political situation in Lebanon has cast a shadow over specific timelines for the country’s bid round.

To date, 12 operators have been prequalified to bid along with 34 nonoperators. Companies await final decrees, and the bidding period is slated to end in August. Interest in the region is primarily driven by recent offshore discoveries in Israel (OGJ Online, Dec. 4, 2013) and Cyprus (OGJ Online, Oct. 4, 2013). Early contestants for Lebanon’s first licensing round expect this discovery trend to continue offshore the country. LPA plans to announce awards in November, although delays could be imminent if the political situation remains unchanged.

Contact Tayvis Dunnahoe at tayvisd@ogjonline.com.

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