Nazarian Sees Gas Licensing Auction within Four Months

Lebanon expects to close its first licensing round for offshore gas exploration areas within about four months after overcoming a legislative hurdle by the end of April, the energy minister said Monday.

Early estimates suggest the country has natural gas reserves that, if proven, could rank as the world’s 15th largest.

But Lebanon has delayed the licensing auction three times already due to political gridlock. Spillover from the war in neighboring Syria and maritime border rows with Israel pose high risks for would-be investors, analysts and industry sources say.

 Nazarian said the new Cabinet should be able to approve the decrees by the end of the month. 

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