Lebanon gives more time to oil companies to pre-qualify for offshore licensing round

Lebanese government has extended a deadline to announce the results of the country’s second pre-qualification round related to its first offshore licensing round, which was re-launched earlier this year. 

According to a Wednesday announcement by the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), a regulatory body in charge of managing the petroleum sector in Lebanon, the deadline was pushed from April 13 to April 28, 2017.

The decision was made by Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water, Cesar Abi Khalil, to enable the LPA to send requests to the companies which have submitted pre-qualification’s applications and ask them to provide additional data and documents and clarifications.

According to the LPA, the primary objective of this pre-qualification round is to ensure that highly qualified companies are invited to participate in the first licensing round, and that they subsequently may be awarded exclusive petroleum rights.

 

The round kick-off

 

Following a three-year delay with its first offshore licensing round, the Lebanese government in early January approved two decrees crucial for the completion of the country’s first licensing round.

The first decree divided the Lebanese Exclusive Economic Zone into ten blocks and delimited their coordinates. The second decree presented the tender protocol that defined the conditions for participating in the bid round and the criteria used in the bids evaluation, and the model exploration and production agreement that would be signed between the country and the winning consortium.

After the approval of decrees, the second pre-qualification round was open in early February offering five offshore blocks for oil and gas exploration.

The opening date for submission of documents for the pre-qualification round was February 2 and the closing date was March 31. Results of the pre-qualification were initially supposed to be announced on April 13.

After the expiry of the new deadline now set for April 28, the companies that pre-qualified will then be invited to submit their bids on the open blocks on September 15 and the evaluation of the bids and the signature of the exploration and production agreements will follow on November 15, 2017.

There are already 46 pre-qualified companies as part of the country’s first offshore licensing round stalled since 2013.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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