Bassil Says Lebanon to Attract Important Oil Companies for Offshore Tenders

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil revealed on Thursday that the tenders that Lebanon will launch to explore offshore oil and gas will be of high significance.

“The tenders will be more important than those held in Israel and Cyprus as Lebanon will attract superior oil exploration companies,” Bassil said in comments published in As Safir newspaper.

The minister pointed out that he will soon open the door for application by interested oil companies to drill off Lebanon's coast.

Bassil noted that the “unworthy” companies that don't have enough experience will not be able to participate in the tenders, a move that would allow international oil companies to trust the state's management of the affair.

The formation of the Petroleum Authority in November was the first major step in future oil exploration since parliament passed a law in 2011 setting the country's maritime boundary and Exclusive Economic Zone.

Bassil hailed the cabinet's decision on Wednesday to allow Lebanese oil companies to participate in the tenders to encourage the national firms. This move would contribute to enlarging their businesses and allow them to gain experience in the field.

“This step is essential to highlight Lebanon's oil policies in conformity with international standards,” he noted.

The cabinet set on Wednesday the main principles that would allow oil companies to participate in the tenders.

In January, Bassil revealed that the state will invite for tenders within three months, downplaying the risk of conflict with Israel despite a dispute over the maritime border.

He revealed that European, U.S., Chinese and Russian firms had already shown serious interest in drilling off Lebanon's coast.

Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. Israel, Cyprus and Turkey are all much more advanced in drilling for oil and gas.

The government has warned that Lebanon will not give up its maritime rights and accuses Israel of violating its waters, territory and air space.

Lebanon has also submitted to the United Nations a maritime map that conflicts significantly with one proposed by Israel.

Lebanon argues its map is in line with an armistice accord drawn up in 1949, an agreement which is not contested by Israel.

The disputed zone consists of about 854 square kilometers (330 square miles), and suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars.

Comments 18
Thumb andre.jabbour 07 February 2013, 08:53

We don't care Bassil, we want you out before you steal OUR wealth.

Thumb Chupachups 07 February 2013, 10:31

FT shut that trap

Thumb primesuspect 07 February 2013, 15:29

Gebran Bassil stole more money than Berri in the same lap of time. Ladies and gentlemen, we have A winner!

Missing peace 07 February 2013, 21:43

oh naive FT or i believe stupid is more appropriate...
for your education: how come some close collaborators of your orangina had nothing and now they have been able to buy buildings or even companies? and that since aoun came back from france... strange isn t it? do politics make you earn so much money in so short notice?

LOL... you look more and more ridiculous trying to look smarter than everyone else!
your illusion of knowledge makes you a real entertainement here bozo the claoun's faithful joker!

Missing mohammad_ca 07 February 2013, 20:36

more homosexual innuendo from from FT...

Default-user-icon Jbounce (Guest) 07 February 2013, 09:22

yes religious wealth, we can export those !

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 07 February 2013, 09:42

Make belief world you live in. Berri was the speaker of the house all along. Why did he not expose these "thefts"? Many good billions were indeed used to pay off Berri, Syrian intelligence officers and leaders, pet projects, .... Indeed every time Rafik Hariri tried to stop waste and crack down on corruption, he was attacked left and right. Also, how much does electricity lebanon lose every year? Almost 1.5 billion? Multiply that by the number of years and you get half of the debt. Who protect those who do not pay their bills? Definitely not m14. Alsi why when Hariri was out of power the deficit did not go down? Sorry - easier to blame these wahabi sympathizer like Harb!

Missing whyaskwhy 07 February 2013, 09:51

I love how we spend the money before it even arrives, I would like to see our illustrious energy minister explain to the populous how this oppertunity will payback our debts over the next ten years? no mention of what and how this relates to our debt but rather how were going to reap the very easy money. Our leaders allways look for short term rational to our problems and solutions and never long term keeping the countrys instability there to insure people follow like sheep. You could not get a phone installed in your house in 50's without wasta and still 60 years later the wasta is still required purposefuly to keep the Lebanese subservant to Leaders.

Missing peace 07 February 2013, 19:39

better be a door knob than a FPM door mat on which your syrian and iranian wipe their feet that you lick....

Missing samiam 07 February 2013, 11:55

The mindless minion speaks

Hey smart guy, how did Berri become one of the biggest landowners in Lebanon when he grew up in a very modest home, how much money did the 'wahabi' gulf countries give GMA over the years, and finally, how much is the value of the resources that HA, Amal and others continue to pilfer on a daily basis by taking land, electricity and other resources without paying for them.

I am not saying any party is clean of stealing from this country, but what is the so called change and reform party doing about it? I have seen no reform or any change in the 'politics as usual'. And finally, why haven't politicians from ALL sides been brought about on corruption charges?

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 07 February 2013, 17:31

Karim- If you don't mind, can you please elaborate on
"it was us true patriots who were resisting the Syrian occupation and paid the price for rebelling while your leaders reaped the rewards as they shined Syrian boots"
I would love to hear all about that.

Default-user-icon Phillip (Guest) 07 February 2013, 15:10

Better follow the 14 Clowns rathers following the 8 Idiots who make makes us enemies of the World Excluding Iran and Syria.

Thumb dasphinx 07 February 2013, 15:21

When it comes to money, politicians don't know M8 or M4. Anyone arguing this matter along party lines is a total idiot. They have all been robbing you for years. All Bassil is doing is trying to catch up.

Default-user-icon bou jamrah (Guest) 07 February 2013, 17:15

"The tenders will be more important than those held in Israel and Cyprus" they need to be, after all we need to factor in Commisyangeh Bassil's 30% commission.
I bet those "Important Oil Companies" will be sending their reps on board the energy generating ships we expect any day now, any day, yeah that's the ticket!

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 07 February 2013, 17:25

The minister pointed out that he will soon open the door for application by interested oil companies to drill off Lebanon's coast.
I wonder what the application "fee" is and to whom it gets paid?

Missing peace 07 February 2013, 19:42

"and suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars."

how much will go to the lebanese citizens? at least in the gulf their citizens benefit from oil money... pretty sure lebanon will look like nigeria once oil is extracted... wealthy politicians and starving population!

Default-user-icon Truth (Guest) 07 February 2013, 21:14

Iranians are lining up to help!

Missing greatpierro 08 February 2013, 12:52

1) you are voicing proofless accusations.
2) We have black on white that Nicolas Sehnaoui is ove-rinvoicing by 65M USD 3G antenna
3) Everybody knows how many pieces of land Bassil has bought in the Batroun area
4) What you are saying is that its time for the M8 to control the wealth of Lebanon and steal money?
5) The problem of FPM supporters is they have an issue with Lebanon's Sunnis and they are unable to live side by side en bonne intelligence with them, hence you accuse them of being Saudi's and Wahhabi's. No one should exclude non one in this country.