BEIRUT: Lebanon wrapped up negotiations with a consortium of three international companies that had submitted bids for offshore oil and gas exploration, Energy Minister Cesar Khalil said Thursday.
The consortium, comprising France’s Total, Italy’s ENI and Russia’s Novatek, made the only offer in the tendering process which closed on October 12, with bids for two of the 5 blocks that were open for bidding. Lebanon's exclusive economic zone was divided into 10 blocks in total.
“The Lebanese Petroleum Administration has completed negotiations with oil companies, and will submit a report to Cabinet regarding the outcome of the negotiations,” Khalil said.
Lebanon sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean where a number of big subsea gas fields have been discovered since 2009, including the Leviathan and Tamar fields situated in Israeli waters near to the disputed marine border with Lebanon.
Lebanon’s efforts to develop an oil and gas industry has been plagued by numerous delays, mainly due to political infighting, since the country first discovered potential oil and gas fields in 2009.
A total of more than 50 international companies had qualified to take part in the bidding since the first qualification round was announced in 2013.
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