Lebanon Businessnews News

Oil & gas second round
of prequalification now open
Five blocks up for bids
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The Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) announced it will open a second prequalification round for interested oil and gas companies. Companies that were prequalified in the first round will not be dismissed and will rather compete with the new companies.

“We are opening five blocks for bidding but eventually only four will be awarded,” said MoEW Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said. He said that prequalification had to be open for a second round because it has been a very long time since the first round was announced, which was in May 2013.

“Some companies might not be interested in this region anymore, those that were not in the past, may now be interested again, and those that couldn’t meet our conditions may now be able to,” he said.

Prequalification conditions have remained unchanged.

Blocks open for bidding are for block number one, four, eight, nine, and ten.

The prequalification round will open on February 2 and will close on March 31. On April 13, the new prequalified companies will be announced. In parallel, the Ministry hopes the Council of Ministers approves the oil and gas tax law.

September 15 is the deadline to receive the offers from prequalified companies. The offers will be published a week later.

The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) will issue an assessment report about the bids by October 16. Within a further month, the Council of Ministers may convene to approve the offers.

“Our goal is to increase competition and receive the best bids,” he said.

The Council of Ministers also announced that it had signed the Extracted Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Abi Khalil said: “Lebanon is the first out of 52 countries that signed the initiative before producing oil and gas.”

According to the initiative, the State should announce any income from oil production, and the oil companies should announce their profits and expenses.

The main three pillars of the initiative are civil society, oil companies, and the Government
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Jan 27, 2017
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