Lebanon Cabinet Approves First Offshore Oil, Gas Licensing Round

Lebanon authorized its first offshore oil and natural gas licensing round at a cabinet meeting today as the nation sought to catch up with neighbors Israel and Cyprus in developing fuel reserves.

The qualifying round for companies interested in participating will start Feb. 1, Minister of Social Affairs Wael Bou Faour said at a press conference in the capital Beirut. A list of qualified explorers will be issued by March 31 and they can place bids starting May 2, he said.

Lebanon faced political divisions that have delayed action on energy exploration.

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