bidding round was set to be launched in August 2014, after three previous missed dates, and it is no surprise that it will be delayed - again. The failure of the country’s decision-makers to agree on crucial issues is threatening Lebanon’s gas ambitions. Two decrees remain to be issued, one delimitating the blocks that will be open for bidding and the second laying out a model sharing exploration and production sharing agreement.
Lebanon had started well: an ambitious schedule, precise dates and deadlines, and the interest of major oil and gas companies to participate in the country’s search for offshore hydrocarbon. But investors are losing patience. The neighbouring countries have moved ahead, with problems of their own, but progress is ongoing. ENI and Total will be drilling offshore Cyprus and the feasibility of the island’s planned LNG facility will largely depend on their results. Israel, after a long debate around exports and exports quotas has taken in June 2013 the political decision to export gas. Israel is now in the stage of finalising its export strategy.