Update on Gas Exploration in Lebanon – French firm prepare a tender for bid

19Mar11

BeicipFranlab, a French petroleum consulting firm,  signed an agreement with caretaker Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil Thursday.

The firm is set to prepare a tender in the coming months that would allow companies bid for the right to explore oil and gas off the Lebanese coast. The agreement should set the stage for the eventual state-led exploration of potential deposits. Bassil said the only work that remains is for the new government to issue a decree authorizing gas and oil exploration. After the collapse of caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri’s Cabinet, plans to issue the decree were put on hold.

Bassil, who is expected to remain a minister in the incoming Cabinet, said that the next government would pass the required decrees by November 2011, setting exploration projects in motion one year later. Israel and Cyprus have already embarked on gas extraction off their coasts.