On January 4th, 2016 Lebanon’s new government passed two needed decrees that had delayed development of an offshore oil and gas sector since 2013. Without the decrees, one pertaining to block delineation and the other to the Tender Protocol and Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA), international oil companies cannot bid for rights to explore for oil and gas in Lebanese waters.
On April 26, 2017 the ministry of energy announced the companies that are qualified to submit bids in Lebanon's first offshore oil and gas licensing round, with contracts set to be signed in November. The qualified companies now total 51, including those that were greenlit during the first qualification round back in 2013.
On September 7, the minister of Energy and Water, Cezar Abi Khalil, extends the bidding round from September 15 to October 12.
On October 12th, the Minister of Energy and Water announces the closure of the bidding round. One consortium, composed of TOTAL, ENI, and NOVATEK, submits two separate bids on blocks 4 and 9.
Council of Ministers approves a recommendation from the LPA for preparing Lebanon’s second offshore licensing round
On the 26th of July, parliament joint committees approve Whistle Blower Protection law
On September 6th, 2018 the following joint parliamentary committees were present during a joint parliamentary meeting and approved the draft law.
- Committee of Finance and Budget
- Committee for National Defense, Interior and Municipalities
- Committee for National Economy, Trade, Industry and Planning
- Committee for Agriculture and Justice
- Committee for Public Works, Transport, Energy and Water
- Committee for administration and justice.
Parliament holds a general assembly and ratifies the law "Whistle Blower Protection Law" (Law 83/2018)
Parliament holds a general assembly and ratifies the law "Strengthening transparency in the petroleum sector" (Law 84/2018). Law is accessible here.
On April 5, 2019 the ministry of energy announced that blocks 1, 2, 5, 8 and 10 are open to receive bids in the Second Offshore Licensing Round.
The set of open blocks was selected based on the priorities and goals of the upstream oil and gas sector and the objectives of the Second Offshore Licensing Round.
On April 2, 2019 the Chairman of the Lebanese Petroleum Authority- Walid Nasr- announced that Lebanon will be ready by the end of 2019 to start the exploratory drilling in block 4 followed by block 9 in 2020.
On February 25th, 2020 Tungsten Explorer drillship arrived at the location of the first exploration well in block 4 of the Lebanese waters where two logistical support vessels were waiting for it at the drilling point to provide the necessary equipment
On February 29th, 2020 Lebanon launched its first exploratory drill in block 4 with the consortium Total, ENI and Novatek.
On April 3rd, 2020 Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar announced the extension of the application deadline of the second licensing round from April 30th till the 1st of June due to COVID-19 and lockdown consequences.
On April 27th, 2020 Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar announced that Lebanon’s first foray into offshore exploration in block 4 has found a dry well
For more information, click here
On May 31st, 2020 The Ministry of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar announced in a statement the postponement of the deadline for the submission of applications for its second licensing round citing the coronavirus pandemic and the declining oil prices that prompted exploration companies to decrease their investments and hold off their exploration activities.
For more information, click here
On October 1st, 2020 Master of the parliament Nabih Berri announced Lebanon intention to start negotiating on the maritime border issue with Israel
On October 14th, 2020 Lebanon had its first round of indirect negotiations over disputed maritime borders with Israel. The one-hour session was hosted in a United Nations base in Naqoura, near the Israeli border, and was mediated by the US, with the presence of both national delegations and the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis.
In February 2021, The LPA published a list of all companies sub contracted to execute the drilling of the exploratory well in Block4. The list also includes the names of the companies’ ultimate beneficial owners.
Check it out here