Further Delays Threaten Lebanon's Energy Ambitions


Lebanon's lack of commitment to its energy ambitions and to its own people sends a wrong image.

Lebanon's caretaker energy minister Gebran Bassil delayed the country’s offshore gas licensing round by a month from 10 December 2013 until 10 January 2014 as a result of the failure to form a cabinet that would approve two crucial decrees. The pending pieces of legislation were meant to delimitate Lebanon’s offshore blocks and approve the model exploration and production agreement. Bassil had urged the president and the caretaker prime minister to hold a special cabinet meeting to pass the decrees but to no avail. A new cabinet has not been formed to date. The delays have been interpreted by most as an obvious sign of serious political discord amongst Lebanese politicians. While some politicians do not support Gebran Bassil and his vision for Lebanon’s energy industry, others have personal ambitions and would like to stall the process as much as possible until they have a certain political control over the resources. 

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