On Feb. 15, the Lebanese government initiated the country’s first ever offshore licensing round. Companies interested in bidding for oil and gas exploration and production licenses off the Lebanese coast have until the end of March to submit their prequalification package. Short-listed companies will be notified by mid-April; bidding will start in May and is expected to continue for six months. Various bid evaluations will take place between November 2013 and January 2014, and the first exploration and production agreement is scheduled to be signed in February 2014. Lebanon has opted for what amounts a relatively transparent process for allocating its offshore blocks, in contrast to many developing countries, which often use less transparent methods, such as direct negotiations or awarding contracts on a “first-come, first-served” basis. These latter approaches encourage rent-seeking behavior and corruption as the criteria for award of contracts are not predefined and known to potential investors beforehand. Licenses therefore become vulnerable to favoritism and corruption.