The political complexities within Lebanon are the major factors likely to postpone offshore gas production to at least 2025. At the same time, external factors are further worsening the prospects of the Mediterranean country as a gas producer - border disputes with Israel and Syria would slow down even the most resolute and united Lebanese government, Bassam Fattouh, Director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said on Monday.
“It is unlikely that we will start production by early 2020s… I would say 2025 if we are lucky, if things really start to moving” Fattouh commented.
Reminding that Lebanese parliament failed to elect a new president and that the “unstable government” has paralysed the decision-making process, he does not see any bidding round by the end of 2015. He also dismissed the idea of gas imports in the next months - Lebanon will continue to rely on fuel oil at least for the next 2-3 years.