Lebanon: Political Intransigence Blocks Upstream Progress

Lebanon could be sitting on substantial gas riches, but the inability of its politicians to rise above sectarian squabbling means those resources could be stuck in the ground indefinitely.

Lebanon’s cabinet has proved incapable of making important decisions on the country’s future. This includes a nomination for the post of President – a position that has been vacant since May 2014. In addition, two decrees crucial to opening up a potential bid round for acreage in the country’s offshore have failed to move forward since being tabled more than two years ago.

These decrees would delineate the number of blocks to be offered in a bid round that was supposed to have taken place in August last year (MEES, 2 January). Pre-qualifying took place earlier in the year: in a clear statement of the country’s potential, a veritable ‘who’s-who’ of international and national oil companies (IOCs and NOCs) registered an interest (see table).


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