[Oil & Gas Updates]: Government approves the nomination of the Petroleum Administration’s board members

The cabinet approved on 07/11 the nomination of the board members of the Petroleum Administration. The regulatory body is entrusted with the administration of the petroleum sector. It is responsible of managing and supervising hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in the country, including the organization of the upcoming licensing rounds.

The appointment of the six board members was not on the agenda of today’s cabinet meeting but was introduced by Energy minister Gebran Bassil at the beginning of the meeting, confirming earlier suspicions that the current political leadership is keen on sealing the nominations ahead of a likely political deadlock that might cause a cabinet reshuffle.

The six members were selected on a confessional basis as is the case with virtually all administrative positions in Lebanon. We might also add that they were selected on a political basis as well. They represent, as a result, the political factions that suggested, backed and confirmed their nomination. It is hoped that the multiple layers of selection will not affect the overall work of the regulatory body.

List of the Petroleum Administration’s board members that were appointed today for a period of six years:

–          Walid Nasr, in charge of the Strategic Planning Unit (Greek Catholic)

–          Nasser Hoteit, head of the Technical & Engineering Affairs Unit (Shiite)

–          Wissam al-Zahabi, in charge of the Economic and Financial Affairs Unit (Sunni)

–          Wissam Chbat, head of the Geology and Geophysics Unit (Maronite)

–          Gaby Daaboul, in charge of the Legal Affairs Unit (Greek Orthodoxe)

–          Assem Abou Ibrahim, head of the Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Unit (Druze)

Members will take turn heading the Administration, each for a period of one year. Abou Ibrahim was selected as the first head of the Petroleum Administration as his name comes first in alphabetical order.

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