Lebanese Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, issued a call this week for the country to license all 10 offshore blocks in the country’s first ever bid round. Mr Berri, veteran political leader and head of the Shi’a Amal Movement, has been highly influential as Lebanon prepared for its first offshore licensing round for oil and gas exploration.

Mr Berri seconded Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water, Gebran Bassil, who has called for a meeting of the caretaker government to approve the two key oil and gas decrees needed before prequalified companies submit their bids. But MEES understands that an extraordinary cabinet meeting to tackle these decrees remains unlikely: there is growing concern within certain sections of the country’s political class that Mr Basil has grown too entangled with the process and that approving the decrees before a new cabinet is installed would be a “win” too many for Mr Basil. This is in addition to the ambiguity surrounding the constitutionality of such a meeting of “caretaker” ministers. (CONTINUED - 518 WORDS)