Friday, July 3, 2020

Lebanon Postpones Offshore Licensing Round Again

June 1, 2020

Image Credit: Lebanese Petroleum Administration

Lebanon has again postponed the deadline for the submissions of applications for its second offshore licensing round, citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in oil prices.

Lebanon had in January postponed the deadline from January 31 to April 30 to allow international firms more time to pursue administrative, technical and financial preparations for the round. I then in April said the deadline would be put off for June 1, however, the government on Sunday announced the deadline will be postponed again.

"As this pandemic continues to spread around the world, it is leaving devastating effects on the petroleum sector from low demand for oil and gas products to a sharp decline in hydrocarbons prices," The Minister of Energy and Water said Sunday.

The Minister said: "While the Covid-19 pandemic affected the financial and logistical capacities of petroleum exploring companies, the decline in oil and gas prices led companies to lower their investments and to hold off exploration activities. Many countries have either postponed or put on hold their licensing rounds, which they had launched before the pandemic."

"Since the Cabinet approved the launch of the Second Offshore Licensing Round, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration worked on the marketing of this round and communicated with companies that expressed interest in taking part in it, including answering questions and providing clarifications about the procedure with which to submit applications. Additionally, the Cabinet had recently approved a draft decree allowing companies to securely submit applications for the Second Offshore Licensing Round through the Internet," the minister said in the statement.

"As the conditions which we described above are still ongoing, it was necessary to momentary postpone the deadline for the submission of applications to participate in the Second Offshore Licensing Round to a later date which will be determined by a decision that the Minister of Energy and Water will issue based on the recommendation of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, in the objective to complete the Second Offshore Licensing Round before the end of the year 2021."

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