Lebanon Looking to Move Forward with Offshore Licensing Despite Risks

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On 26 April the Lebanese Petroleum Administration announced the results of the second pre-qualification round for the country’s first offshore licensing round, which was relaunched in January after its indefinite suspension in August 2014. An initial prequalification round was held in 2013 where 46 companies qualified for participation, out of which 12 companies qualified as potential operators. The new pre-qualification round opened after the process was re-started and resulted in 8 new successful applications, including one to upgrade the status from non-operator to operator. Significant industry interest in the Lebanese offshore stems from the existence of a number of discoveries in the Levantine Basin, notably the Leviathan (15.6 tcf), Tamar (10.9 tcf) and Aphrodite (3.9 tcf) fields. There have also been suggestions that there may be a greater chance of oil in the northern part of the basin. Such prospectivity has generated significant interest in the round, however, there are risks which could limit the success of the round when it closes in September.

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