Congratulations Lebanon for signing the first exploration and production licenses for oil and gas!
On February 9th, Lebanon will celebrate a giant and important step: the signing of the exploration and production agreements (EPA’s) with a consortium of three international oil companies, Total, ENI and Novatech.
Moving forward, the government now has to focus on developing and strengthening the infrastructure and institutional setup that will allow Lebanon to benefit from its natural resources in a sustainable manner.
The Lebanese cabinet had agreed to grant the first exploration and production licenses to the consortium to begin work in blocks 4 and 9.
Despite the internal and regional political hurdles that the sector was exposed to during the last 8 years, the Lebanese government was able to develop a mechanism and a legislative framework that has put the sector on the right track.
Stemming from our role as enabled monitors, watchdogs, and partners in the good management of this sector, LOGI have developed practical recommendations that will improve the work of the sector in general and enhance transparency and accountability within the legislative framework in specific.
While we are currently working on advocating these recommendations, we highlight that there is a fundamental/core issue that the government needs to address in the upcoming critical phase. The Lebanese government has to focus on developing a national strategy for the oil and gas sector. In addition, and just as critical, the government has to put in place a participatory legislative process that ensures public consultations are executed.
It is, therefore, very dangerous to proceed in the development of this vital sector with the absence of this national strategy.