Middle East Strategic Perspectives has been providing a regular coverage of Lebanon’s emerging oil and gas sector.
In 2013, the sector has effectively started to take shape. The formation of the Petroleum Administration in November 2012 completed the institutional framework required to announce the launching of the country’s first licensing round for offshore oil and gas exploration in May 2, 2013. Fifty-two companies had previously sought to qualify and forty-six were found eligible to bid, including some of the biggest names in the industry, before the tender was put on hold due to political deadlock. The resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati in March 2013 brought the government down before the adoption of two decrees that are essential for pursuing the tender. Lebanon is concluding the year 2013 without an effective government. The country is currently run by a caretaker cabinet, whose authority to govern beyond performing routine administrative work is questioned.
This, however, does not mean that the entire process has been disrupted. On the contrary, work is ongoing: Seismic surveys continue to be conducted, and, in 2013, they have been expanded to cover onshore areas. The US initiative to settle the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel is said to have reached an advanced stage.
Also in 2013, and after initial hesitation, the private sector started showing signs it intends to play an active part in the country’s emerging oil and gas industry. The year 2013 has seen a number of universities introduce new programs and majors to accompany the possible development of a petroleum industry in the country.
Our reports in 2013 have covered in details these and other developments and sought to shed light on the internal dynamics of the often-opaque Lebanese politics. In November, we released a report on the Lebanese oil and gas sector and the opportunities it presents for businesses (available on request). And throughout the year we published a series of reports detailing and analyzing developments that are directly or indirectly related to the sector.
To review the main highlights of the Lebanese oil and gas sector in 2013, we are listing below the reports published on our website this year: