On January 4th, 2016 Lebanon’s new government passed two needed decrees that had delayed development of an offshore oil and gas sector since 2013. Without the decrees, one pertaining to block delineation and the other to the Tender Protocol and Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA), international oil companies cannot bid for rights to explore for oil and gas in Lebanese waters.
On April 26, 2017 the ministry of energy announced the companies that are qualified to submit bids in Lebanon's first offshore oil and gas licensing round, with contracts set to be signed in November. The qualified companies now total 51, including those that were greenlit during the first qualification round back in 2013.
On September 7, the minister of Energy and Water, Cezar Abi Khalil, extends the bidding round from September 15 to October 12.
On October 12th, the Minister of Energy and Water announces the closure of the bidding round. One consortium, composed of TOTAL, ENI, and NOVATEK, submits two separate bids on blocks 4 and 9.