The newly-formed Petroleum Administration held its first meeting on Friday 09/11, headed by Energy Minister Gebran Bassil. Bassil said the major challenge ahead is to be ready by the end of 2012 for the launching of the first licensing round. Exploration will start once licenses are issued, approximately a year after receiving the offers.
As reported by The Daily Star on Thursday 08/11, Bassil said that it is imperative for the Energy Ministry to accompany the work of the Petroleum Administration in the first stage until licenses and permits for companies have been issued. Once the tenders have been issued, the regulatory board can work independently even if there is a caretaker cabinet.
In an interview with Al-Manar TV on 09/11, Bassil said, rather optimistically, “if things go right, we can start extraction within 4 years”, before adding that some (external and internal) parties do not wish for Lebanon to extract its resources.