The deadline for the second prequalification round for oil and gas exploration has expired. Nine new companies have now applied to partake in the first licensing round, according to the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW).
The companies are ONGC Videsh Limited (India), PJSC Lukoil (Russia), Sapurakencana Energy SDN BHD (Malaysia), Sonatrach International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (Algeria), Qatar Petroleum International Limited, Advanced Energy Systems (ADES) SAE (Egypt), Petropars Ltd (Iran)., JSC Novatek (Russia), and Vega Petroleum Limited (Egypt) jointly with both Edgo Energy Limited (Jordan) and Petroleb (Lebanon).
The ministry said that the 14 companies that in 2013 had previously applied for the first prequalification round have now updated their files, providing the needed information regarding any changes which could impact their prequalification. This includes audited financial statements for the years 2014 and 2015, and unaudited statements for 2016.
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) is now in the process of contacting the rest of the companies that participated in the first prequalification round for their files to be updated.
A total of 46 companies were accepted in the first prequalification round. But the process was halted after the government failed to ratify two decrees pertaining to the delineation of maritime blocks and contracts pertaining to exploration and production.
Blocks one, four, eight, nine and ten are up for bidding in the first licensing round.
According to the ministry, the criteria adopted for qualifying companies remain unchanged. The companies are divided into four main areas: Legal, technical, financial and environmental. Participating companies should be joint stock companies, and should have expertise relating to oil and gas exploration in water depths of more than 500 meters, as well as having previously produced petroleum. They must also have a minimum capital of $10 billion.
The results of the second prequalification round will be announced on April 13 this year.