03 What has Lebanon done so far?
Timeline for Oil and Gas in Lebanon and the region
1930s
1st Legislation for Oil Exploration
French Mandate legislates petroleum exploration in Lebanon
Legislation
1938
Iraq Petroleum Company Explores for Oil in Lebanon
The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) receives a permit to conduct geological fieldwork – work is suspended due to war.
Exploratory Drilling
1947-48
Iraq Petroleum Company Explores for Oil in Lebanon
IPC drills an exploratory well near Jabal Tarbol in the Beqaa Valley to the depth of 1,950.72 meters; the results were inconclusive.
Exploratory Drilling
1953-54
Lebanese Petroleum Company Explores for Oil
Compagnie libanaise des pétroles (Lebanese Petroleum Company) drills exploratory well in Yamour; another well is drill near Nahr Ibrahim; inconclusive results.
Exploratory Drilling
1959-60
Lebanese Petroleum Company Explores for Oil
Lebanese Petroleum Company drills exploratory wells in al Qa, Adloun, and another in Yamour.
Exploratory Drilling
1963
Lebanese Petroleum Company Explores for Oil
Lebanese Petroleum Company drills exploratory well in Tall Dhnoub in the western Bekaa Valley.
Exploratory Drilling
1970-71
Surveying Begins Offshore Tripoli
Seismic surveys offshore Tripoli.
Geophysical Surveying
1990
Lebanon and Syria Agree to Explore for Oil.
Lebanon and Syria sign cooperation agreement entitled “Committee of Cooperation between Lebanon and Syria for Oil Exploration in Lebanon”.
Bilateral Agreements
1993-94
Seismic Surveying Continues Offshore Tripoli
Lebanon commissions GecoPrakla to conduct 2D seismic survey off the coast of Tripoli.
Geophysical Surveying
1999
Lebanon Receives Plan for Exploration
UK ATenergy designs and proposes plan for exploration, no action taken by Lebanese government.
Exploratory Drilling
2001
Lebanon Plans its EEZ
Lebanon’s Higher Council for Privatization commissions Southampton Oceanographic Centre to study demarcation of Exclusive Economic Zone.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
2001
Private Company to Advise Lebanon on Exploration
Lebanon’s Higher Council for Privatization commissions UK ATenergy to advise on developing exploration licensing.
Licensing
2002
More Seismic Surveys for Offshore Lebanon
Contract signed with Spectrum Geo for 2D seismic surveys of offshore Lebanon.
Geophysical Surveying
2003
Lebanon Studies Potential of Seismic Data
Lebanon’s Higher Council for Privatization commissions UK company Exploration Consultants Ltd to interpret Spectrum’s seismic survey data.
Geophysical Surveying
2003
Spectrum to Sell Lebanon’s Seismic Data
Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water grants Spectrum exclusive rights to market seismic data until August 2007.
Geophysical Surveying
Nov 2005
3D Surveying to Commence Offshore Lebanon
Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water inks contract with PGS to conduct 3D seismic survey acquisition and interpretation off the coast of Lebanon.
Geophysical Surveying
2006-12
Lebanon signs development agreement with Norway
Lebanon signs cooperation agreement with Norway’s Oil for Development program. The six year, first phase, focused on establishing the regulatory framework needed to pursue petroleum exploration.
Bilateral Agreements
Jan 2007
Lebanon and Cyprus Negotiate Maritime Borders
Lebanon and Cyprus agree in principle to terms over demarcating their Exclusive Economic Zones. The Lebanese government has never ratified this agreement.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Sep 2007
Lebanon Sets Vision for Oil Exploration
Lebanon’s Council of Minister’s passes its petroleum policy drafted with assistance for the Norwegians. The legislation was endorsed by the Parliament in August 2010.
Legislation
Apr 2009
Lebanon Determines Northern Points of EEZ
Lebanese army geographers established the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone along the lines of two points that are shared with Cyprus and Syria.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
May 2009
Lebanon Submits EEZ Coordinates to UN
Lebanon’s Council of Ministers endorses the army’s findings and deposits the geographical coordinates defining the Southern limit of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone at office of the UN Secretary General in July 2010.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Apr 2010
East Mediterranean Gas Potential Estimated At 122 Tcf
United States Geological Survey releases its report on the Eastern Mediterranean suggesting 122 trillion cubic feet gas potential.
Geophysical Surveying
Aug 2010
Lebanon Parliament Adopts Oil Law
Parliament passes Offshore Petroleum Resources Law # 132/2010.
Legislation
Aug 2010
UN to Mitigate Lebanon Israel Maritime Dispute
Maritime boundary proposal submitted to United Nations for mediation with Israel, outcome pending.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Oct 2010
Lebanon Determines Southern Point of EEZ
Lebanon charts the geographical coordinates of its southern maritime border with Israel and its southwestern border with Cyprus with the UN Secretary General. Find UN documentation here
Maritime Boundary Dispute
June 2011
Lebanon Clarifies its EEZ Borders to UN
The Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants addressed a letter to the UN Secretary General clarifying that Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone boundary.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
July 2011
Israel Disputes Lebanon’s EEZ Claims
Israel ignores Lebanon’s protests to the UN and deposits the geographical coordinates of its northern territorial waters Exclusive Economic Zone.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Aug 2011
Lebanon Formally Demarcates its Maritime Boundaries
Lebanon’s Parliament adopts Law No. 163 on the Delineation and Declaration of the Maritime Zones of the Republic of Lebanon (Official Gazette N° 39, 25 August 2011). As part of this law, in October 2011 Cabinet decree 6433 demarcates Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Legislation
Sep 2011
Lebanon Objects to Cyprus Israel Maritime Borders
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister addresses another letter to the UN Secretary General objecting to the agreement signed between Israel and Cyprus and ascertaining that the points that Israel adopted are in violation of Lebanese sovereignty.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Jan 2012
Lebanon’s Cabinet Ratifies Oil Law
Lebanon’s Council of Ministers ratifies Offshore Petroleum Resources Law # 132/2010.
Legislation
Mar 2012
Cyprus Lebanon Disagree Over Amending Maritime Borders
Cyprus informs Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri that the flaws that Lebanon claim in the EEZ agreements are of no concern to Cyprus, reiterating that amending the existing treaty with Lebanon will only happen by agreement between the three countries; Cyprus, Lebanon and Israel.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Mar 2012
US Officials Offer to Mediate Maritime Border Disputes
The United States offers to mediate the maritime dispute between Lebanon and Israel.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
May 2012
Lebanon Prepares its Environmental Protection Plan
RPS concludes its consultation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment, a comprehensive policy planning tool to guide environmental decisionmaking regarding full lifecycle of oil and gas from exploration to export.
Environmental
Nov 2012
Lebanon Appoints Oil Regulator
Board of Lebanese Petroleum Administration formed after months of debate and missed deadlines.
Legislation
Dec 2012
UNDP to Support Environmental Protection
UNDP inks cooperation agreement (SODEL) with Lebanese government to address environmental challenges of petroleum exploration.
Environmental
Dec 2012
Lebanon Announces First Offshore Licensing Round
Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas licensing round approved.
Licensing
Dec 2012
US Mediates Lebanon Israel Maritime Dispute
Fredrick Hof, US Special Coordinator for Regional Affaris, gave Lebanon and Israel a map that proposed a compromise for dividing natural gas resources between them. In 2014, the US mediation proposal aimed at creating a ‘Maritime Separation Line.’ The proposal envisaged a buffer zone where no petroleum activities would be allowed without the consent of the other party. It also aimed at reaching a unitization framework agreement for future right holder companies to enter into joint explorations of maritime blocks.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Feb 2013
Cabinet Approves Implementation Decrees for Oil Law
Council of Ministers approves Petroleum Activities Regulations (PAR) – a collection of application decrees filling out the offshore petroleum resources law.
Legislation
Feb 2013
Lebanon Launches First Offshore Licensing Round
Pre-qualification phase commences. In March, the prequalification round closes with 46 companies eligible to bid in Lebanon’s first licensing round.
Licensing
Aug 2014
Lebanon Postpones Licensing Round Indefinitely
After several postponements the MoEW announces a new deadline for the first licensing round to be 6 months after the government passes necessary decrees.
Licensing
Aug 2014
Lebanon Publishes Vision for Environmental Protection
The LPA publishes the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Environmental
Dec 2014
Aerial Surveys of Onshore Lebanon
NEOS Geosolutions completes aerial survey of 6,000 square kilometers onshore Lebanon.
Geophysical Surveying
Jan 2015
Lebanon Renews Development Agreement With Norway
Lebanon signs agreement with Norway’s Oil for Development, a second phase 3 year program to build institutional capacities of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Environment.
Bilateral Agreements
Jun 2015
US Officials Continue Mediation Efforts
US Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy Amos Hochstein visits Lebanon to continue talks on maritime boundary dispute with Israel – no progress was reported.
Maritime Boundary Dispute
Jan 2016
Cabinet ratifies necessary decrees to begin delayed bidding round

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.

Legislation
BASICS about Oil and Gas in Lebanon