The Ministry of Energy & Water and British firm Spectrum Energy & Information Technology launched a three-dimensional onshore seismic survey to assemble data on potential locations of petroleum and gas deposits within the Lebanese territory.
The survey will cover 500 kilometers of land that exclude previously surveyed areas in 1947 and 1968. In October 2011, the Cabinet approved the start of onshore oil exploration in Lebanon, as it authorized the launch of a tender process to survey the Lebanese territory and locate areas with potential oil deposits. It also recommended the preparation of a draft law that regulates oil exploration on Lebanese soil, followed by a tender process for onshore exploration. The decisions constituted at the time the government's first official step for launching onshore oil exploration.
In parallel, Lebanon launched on February 15, 2013 the pre-qualification phase for companies that are interested in participating in Lebanon's first licensing round for offshore oil & gas exploration and production. It said that firms have until March 28, 2013 to submit their bids. It plans to publish the list of pre-qualified firms by April 18th and to start receiving their formal applications on May 2nd. It added that companies will have six months from that date to prepare their files and need to submit their offers by November 2013.
It expected the bids' evaluation to be completed in January 2014 and for negotiations and contracts to be signed with the selected firms in February of the same year. It anticipated the exploration process to take up to 18 months from the contracts' signing date. As such, the ministry estimated that drilling would begin by the end of 2015, followed by the development phase in 2016 and production thereafter. The ministry said that 29 international firms, which include U.S., European and Asian companies, have already expressed interest in bidding.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Bank Research