The Cabinet will launch the second oil and gas licensing round in the next few weeks, according to an article published in the February issue of Lebanon Opportunities.
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) will start the pre-qualification process once the licensing round is launched.
Interested companies will be given a six-month period to submit their commercial and financial bids. The LPA will announce its recommendations in the last quarter of 2019, and the Cabinet will award the contracts to a consortium of at least three companies.
Although some experts questioned the timing of the launch, the LPA is convinced that the timing in suitable.
The appetite of interested companies is not affected only by the drilling in these two blocks, said Walid Nasr, Chairman of the LPA. “Waiting for the results of the drilling in blocks four and nine would set the process back by another five years,” he said.
Nasr said that exploration and drilling companies view the local waters as part of the entire Levant Basin, which consists of dry wells as well as commercial discoveries. Companies do not renegotiate contracts if one dry well is dry or discovered, according to Nasr.