Lebanon’s new Energy Minister, Arthur Nazarian, will give interested companies three additional months to submit their bids, MEES understands.

But this period will only begin when Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s cabinet signs off on two key hydrocarbon decrees, governing offshore blocks and fiscal terms, which must be signed before the round proceeds. And it appears unlikely that the new government will address the decrees anytime soon. Indeed, they may well not be signed before Lebanon’s 25 May election deadline, which means the bidding deadline may be pushed back well into the second half of 2014, or even later. (CONTINUED - 1030 WORDS)