Lebanon extends deadline for offshore licensing bids

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The Lebanese government has extended a deadline by four weeks to October 12 for the submission of bids in the country’s first offshore oil and gas licensing round.

Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water, Cesar Abi Khalil, made the announcement via the state run National News Agency last week, extending the applications submission deadline which had originally been set for September 15.

This followed a recommendation by the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), which regulates the petroleum sector in Lebanon.

The first offshore licensing round in Lebanon had stalled since 2013 due to political issues, but in January this year the country presented conditions relating to the licensing round and the exploration and production framework as it offered five offshore blocks, which were Block 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10, for oil and gas exploration bidding.

The pre-qualified companies were set to submit their bids this month with the EPAs to be announced in November.

Mr Khalil had previously acknowledged that three of the blocks bordering Israel were under a partial dispute with Lebanon’s southern neighbour.

Petrobras, Maersk, Total, Eni, Petronas, Shell, Statoil, Chevron, ExxonMobil and ONGC Videsh have all been named as interested players for the blocks.

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