Lebanon this week released details of the five blocks on offer in the country’s first ever bid round which it hopes to award by the end of 2017.

The timeline is ambitious, especially given that three of the five blocks – numbers 8, 9 and 10 – contain a 854km² wedge also claimed by Israel (see map), with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations. The other two, 1 and 4, are in the north of Lebanon’s offshore – further from existing Israeli, Cypriot and Egyptian finds. No drilling has ever taken place offshore Lebanon. (CONTINUED - 649 WORDS)