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22 June 2017

RENEWAL OF THE OIL FOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
On the 22nd of June 2017 Norway approved the renewal of the Oil for Development (OfD) three-year Programme in Lebanon, which will run from 2018 until 2020.

The second phase of the OfD programme is coming to an end in 2017, the renewal of the programme comes at a crucial time for Lebanon as the country entered its operational phase, it is paving the way to finalise its first licensing round in September, and will subsequently award exploration and production agreement(s) to winning consortiums, which will enable the start of exploration activities in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

To date Lebanon has tremendously benefitted from the capacity building and technical support provided through the OfD Programme since its start in 2006. Indeed, through the programme Norway helped Lebanon to achieve significant milestones including preparing institutions to acquire the knowledge required to establish the prospective sector, while drawing on the industry’s best practices and shaping them to the Lebanese context.

More specifically, in its first phase that extended from 2006 until 2012, the programme helped setting up the petroleum activities legal and institutional frameworks. Currently, the second phase builds on previous realizations in terms of capacity building and tackles the critical development of the sector’s strategic and legal frameworks, emphasizes on strengthening accountability and transparency, and taps into the development of the fields related to safety, environment and revenue management.

For the coming years, the OfD programme will continue to provide invaluable technical support and capacity building to stakeholders such as: the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, relevant line ministries and Civil Society Organizations.

The cooperation and knowledge sharing among Lebanese and Norwegian institutions strengthens the development of the sector in an inclusive and informed manner, and safeguards that the prospective petroleum sector is constructed on robust foundations early on for the benefit of current and future generations.

25 May 2017

LEBANON OIL & GAS 2017 SUMMIT
In light of Lebanon’s ongoing first offshore licensing round and given the significant marketing efforts exerted to promote a successful licensing round, International Research Networks (IRN) in partnership with the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) hosted on the 25th of May 2017 the Lebanon Oil & Gas Summit in Rome, Italy.
The objective of the Lebanon Oil & Gas Summit was to provide a platform where decision makers, regulators and industry leaders come together to discuss the latest developments with respect to Lebanon’s nascent petroleum sector namely the results of the second prequalification round, and the criteria and the procedure necessary to acquire a license that will enable the winning consortium to undertake petroleum activities in a designated block.
More specifically, attendants tapped into the opportunities that Lebanon’s ongoing licensing round could provide and sharpened their understanding with respect to several topics of interest such as: Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) including the open blocks and the associated geological data and prospectivity; investment opportunities; the regulatory and fiscal frameworks; and the potential of Lebanon’s gas use.
In this regard, the LPA delivered tailored presentations during the day, which ended with the organization of networking sessions and bilateral meetings in the exhibition space that was set up for the event.

23 - 24 May 2017

2ND MEDITERRANEAN OIL & GAS 2017 SUMMIT
On the 23rd and 24th of May 2017 was hosted in Rome, Italy, the 2nd Mediterranean Oil and Gas Summit, which was organized by International Research Networks (IRN).
The two-day event brought together industry leaders including International Oil Companies (IOCs), National Oil Companies (NOCs) and service providers; and governmental authorities in addition to exhibitors from across the globe. The Summit constituted a platform to discuss present and future opportunities the Mediterranean oil and gas industry could provide, emphasizing on several themes such as the development of natural gas, trends and challenges in the region, the energy outlook and the Mediterranean potential.
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) took active participation during the two-day Summit in light of the ongoing licensing round in Lebanon. In this regard, Mr Walid Nasr – Head of the Strategic Planning Department – was part of a panel discussion tackling the potential of the Mediterranean basin as a prospective gas hub for Europe. The panel examined the Eastern Mediterranean resources; in addition to topics assessing the geopolitical aspects of the oil and gas industry in the Levant basin; and issues that aimed to raise the understanding pertinent to the economic incentives that could exist between regional governments and the private sector among other topics.
Finally, the two-day Summit provided an opportunity for networking and exchanging knowledge with respects to the petroleum industry’s latest developments.

12 May 2017

EITI IMPLEMENTATION WORKSHOP
As part of supporting the efforts of the Lebanese government commitment to move forward with the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Norwegian Embassy in Lebanon, in collaboration with EITI International Secretariat, Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), organized a workshop on 12 May 2017 in Beirut.
The purpose of the workshop was to introduce to stakeholders – namely civil society, potential companies, the government and donors – the implementation mechanisms of the EITI; additionally another objective was to support the formation of the EITI Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG), including civil society representation, which is a crucial component to the formation of the MSG.
In this regard, the workshop was inaugurated by HE Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil who reiterated his support to the EITI, which provides a platform for different stakeholders to take an active role in overseeing petroleum activities.
Mr Walid Nasr – Head of the Strategic Planning Department at the LPA – presented the latest development related to the sector highlighting the transparency mechanisms already put in place in the legislative framework.
Finally, the workshop ended with a list of actions to be taken so to successfully initiate the formation of the MSG, with an emphasis on civil society formation and representation in this group.

9 - 10 May 2017

THIRD LEBANON INTERNATIONAL OIL AND GAS SUMMIT (LIOG)
On the 9th and 10th of May 2017, under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Water and with the collaboration of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), was held in Beirut the third Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG).
The objective of LIOG this year was to provide industry leaders a platform to discuss the latest opportunities the prospective Lebanese petroleum sector is set to provide in light of the ongoing first offshore licensing round. In this regard, the Summit tackled three main subjects, namely: Lebanon’s position as a key hydrocarbon player in the Mediterranean; the impacts of market characteristics and regional geopolitics on petroleum related investments; and the attractiveness of Lebanon as a significant destination for oil and gas investments.
The Summit brought together speakers from governmental institutions, together with industry leaders including global experts, in addition to international and domestic service companies, banks, consultants, lawyers and academia to name a few.
During the two-day event the LPA took active participation in the panels. In this regard Mr Wissam Chbat – Chairman of the LPA and Head of the Geology and Geophysics Department – participated in a session where he described the latest progress in the development of Lebanon’s resources; Mr Walid Nasr – Head of the Strategic Planning Department – chaired a session related to the regional developments in the East Med’s petroleum sector; and Mr Wissam Zahabi – Head of the Economics and Finance Department – took part in a session related to the business potential Lebanon could provide.
Finally, the Summit enabled local and international participants to proactively reach out and engage in a constructive debate in the exhibition space where the LPA had a booth.

26 April 2017

RESULTS OF THE SECOND PREQUALIFICATION ROUND
Pursuant to the Minister of Energy and Water’s Decision no. 1/m dated 26/01/2017 (completion of Lebanon’s First Offshore Licensing Round), and specifically article 3 related to undertaking a prequalification round, and pursuant to the Lebanese Petroleum Administration’s (LPA) Decision related to companies that were prequalified in 2013 and were requested to update their files, the Minister of Energy and Water announces the following: Read More.


31 March 2017

END OF PERIOD ALLOCATED FOR THE SECOND PRE-QUALIFICATION ROUND
The deadline allocated for Lebanon’s second pre-qualification round has ended on the 31st of March 2017. As a result, nine new companies have presented their applications to take part in the new pre-qualification round; namely:

• ONGC Videsh Limited
• PJSC Lukoil
• Sapurakencana Energy Sdn Bhd
• Sonatrach International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation
• Qatar Petroleum International Limited
• Advanced Energy Systems (ADES) S.A.E.
• Petropars LTD
• JSC Novatek
• Vega Petroleum Limited / Edgo Energy Limited / Petroleb SAL

In addition, fourteen companies that were already pre-qualified in 2013 updated their applications notifying the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) whether or not they are subject to any status change which could impact their pre-qualification. The fourteen companies presented the required audited financial statements for the years 2014 and 2015, and the unaudited financial statements for 2016. The LPA is now in the process of reaching out to the remaining companies that participated in the first prequalification round in order to update their files accordingly.

30 - 31 March 2017

DRAWING LESSONS FROM THE NORWEGIAN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL SYSTEM FOR THE PETROLEUM SECTOR
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) recently ran a program for a delegation from the Lebanese Petroleum Administration within “Capacity and competence in the Lebanese petroleum sector”.

The delegation visited SOTS (Stavanger Offshore Technical School) and the main purpose was to learn more about the Norwegian model of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the emergent Lebanese Oil & Gas industry. The delegation also had the opportunity to visit SOTS facilities and experience first-hand some of the training and education programs available; such as the simulators and offshore training facilities at the SOTS Course Centre.

14 - 15 March 2017

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN GAS CONFERENCE
A delegation from the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) headed by the its Chairman and Head of the Geology and Geophysics Department Mr Wissam Chbat, and including the Head of the Legal Department Me Gaby Daaboul and the Head of the Engineering and Technical Department Dr Nasser Hoteit took active participation in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference in Cyprus that was held in Nicosia on March 14 and 15, 2017.

Chbat presented Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round roadmap, and explained the geological characteristics and prospectivity of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), with an emphasis on the blocks open for bidding.

As a result, Chbat’s intervention was well received and participants, including International Oil and Gas companies, conveyed their interest with respect to Lebanon’s first licensing round.

6 - 11 March 2017

LEBANESE PARLIAMENTARIAN DELEGATION VISIT TO NORWAY
Within the framework of the Oil for Development (OfD) Programe, a Lebanese Members of Parliament (MPs) delegation, accompanied by Mr. Walid Nasr – Head of the Strategic Planning Department and Mr. Assem Abou Ibrahim – Head of the Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) department at the LPA, undertook a study tour in Norway.

The Parliamentary delegation, headed by MP Mohammad Kabbani was composed of the following MPs: Khodr Habib, Hikmat Dib, Michel Moussa, Ali Bazzi, Bassem Shabb, Joseph Maalouf, Kazem Kheir, Fadi Habre, and Henri Helou. The delegation’s visit to Oslo and Stavanger lasted from the 6th till the 11th of March 2017.

The purpose of the study tour was to sharpen the understanding pertinent to the petroleum system while drawing on the Norwegian experience in resource, revenue and environmental management.

Particular attention was given to providing participants with a clear understanding of the timeframe associated with the value chain and key milestones in project development during the licensing and exploration phases.

In this regard, participants were introduced to the importance of expectation management with respect to local content across the petroleum sector value chain.

Additionally, the delegation participated in a session about parliamentary oversight and accountability. Other sessions looked at the roles of several governmental stakeholders – such as the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Petroleum Directorate, Petroleum Safety Authority, and the Auditor General Office – in shaping the petroleum industry in Norway.

To support the study tour, field visits were organized to acquaint participants with hands-on activities such as a guided tour at a gas processing plant and a visit to the Norwegian Oil Museum.

7 March 2017

OIL & GAS LEBANON’S NATIONAL WEALTH FORUM
On the 7th of March 2017 the LPA took active participation in the fourth Oil & Gas Forum that was held at the ESA Business School in Beirut. The objective of the Forum was to tackle issues related to the recent developments with respect to Lebanon’s nascent offshore petroleum sector.

H.E. Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil addressed the audience and talked about Lebanon’s future energy outlook including the opportunity that comes along tapping into Lebanon’s potential wealth and Lebanon’s advantages in attracting offshore investments.

In turn, the LPA’s Chairman, Mr Wissam Chbat – Head of the Geology and Geophysics Department, participated in a session regarding the impact of the passing of the two oil and gas decrees. Chbat described the geological features of the Lebanese offshore, described the system put in place and Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round characteristics including an overview of its roadmap.

Additionally, Dr Nasser Hoteit – Head of the Technical and Engineering Department at the LPA participated in a session about a comprehensive national energy policy.

Finally, the Forum brought together several stakeholders including high level policy and decision makers, industry players, civil society representatives and academia to name a few. Participants had the opportunity to engage in constructive questions and answers at the end of each session.

28 February 2017

LEBANON PARTICIPATES IN APPEX GLOBAL 2017
In the aim to promote Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round, the Minister of Energy and Water HE Cesar Abi Khalil along with members from the LPA headed by its Chairman Mr Wissam Chbat, are participating in a roadshow entitled Appex Global 2017. The event is taking place in London from the 28th of February until the 2nd of March 2017.

Appex Global 2017 is an international exploration themed exhibition and conference that brings together industry experts, decision makers and regulators to promote exploration and production activities with key international players.

In this regard, HE Minister Abi Khalil together with the Lebanese delegation had the opportunity to hold discussions with oil and gas companies that could be potentially interested in participating in Lebanon’s licensing round, while Mr Chbat delivered a presentation addressing the licensing round characteristics including the geological features of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Over the period of the exhibition, industry experts will be tackling the current state of oil and gas exploration around the world, as well as showcasing prospects and plays from across the globe.

Throughout the event a special booth for the promotion of Lebanon’s offshore is put-in place.

23 February 2017

CONSULTATION WORKSHOP WITH INTERNATIONAL OIL COMPANIES (IOCS)
To promote the ongoing first licensing round, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), under the patronage of the Minister of Energy and Water H.E. Cesar Abi Khalil, organized a consultation workshop for International Oil Companies (IOCs) on Thursday the 23rd of February 2017 at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon.

The event brought together oil and gas companies that either were previously prequalified or that are newly interested in the Lebanese offshore. Other attendants included service providers and representatives of foreign embassies. Attendants had the opportunity to discuss together with the Minister of Energy and Water and the LPA the prospects and characteristics of Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round.

7 February 2017

THE OIL FOR DEVELOPMENT (OFD) PROGRAMME THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
The OfD programme has entered its third year since the start of the three-year agreement between Lebanon and Norway back in 2015. On the 7th of February 2017 took place the third OfD annual meeting in Beirut, which aimed to discuss the achievements of the previous year, and to approve the work plan and the budget for the year ahead together with setting the priorities in light of the most recent developments that occurred – namely the launching of Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round.

The annual meeting brought together representatives from Norwegian institutions and directorates such as the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), the Norwegian Environmental Agency (NEA), the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) and the Oil Taxation Office (OTO); along with representatives from the Lebanese Ministries of Finance and Environment.

The LPA’s Chairman Mr Wissam Chbat opened the session by welcoming the Norwegian and Lebanese counterparts involved in the programme and emphasized that the milestones achieved to date would not have been possible without the valuable assistance that the OfD programme provided to Lebanese institutions in terms of capacity building and preparedness for launching the upcoming bid round.

In turn, H.E. Ambassador of Norway to Lebanon Lene Lind expressed her satisfaction regarding the OfD programme in Lebanon, which represents a significant bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Lind also congratulated the Lebanese government on the milestones achieved and applauded the government’s recent decision to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Additionally, Lind acknowledged that Lebanon is now well placed to join emerging petroleum producing countries given the capacity it acquired throughout the years. Lind praised the counterparts on the results jointly achieved in 2016 and highlighted the importance of a continuous open and frank dialogue among the different partners throughout the programme so to increase understanding in a complex environment. Finally, Lind explained that the Lebanese counterparts’ request to continue the programme beyond 2017 will be evaluated in due time.

Representatives from Norwegian and Lebanese institutions involved in the programme expressed their satisfaction regarding the implemented activities, which resulted in significant knowledge and expertise acquisition to date. The counterparts mentioned that the next phase will be dedicated to building operational capacities.

25 January 2017

LEBANESE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED ITS INTENTION TO JOIN THE EITI
The Cabinet approved on the 25th of January 2017 the re-launch of Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round for oil and gas exploration, and publicly announced the willingness of the Lebanese government to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The Cabinet convened at the Baabda Palace under the Chairmanship of the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, and in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri who attended the session together with other Ministers.

The Council of Ministers statement reads as follows:

“The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) represents a standard in terms of oil, gas and mineral resources management in countries implementing the initiative. Governments, civil society organizations and international oil and gas exploration and production companies jointly implement the EITI standards.

In this regard, the implementation of the initiative is centered around a clear and constructive partnership among the State, civil society organizations and petroleum companies. The required cooperation among these different parties is necessary to implement all the provisions stipulated by the initiative to ensure transparency in the oil and gas sector, and to set a precedent by being an example to other sectors in Lebanon.

Whereas the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) had recommended joining the EITI to promote transparency in the oil and gas sector; whereas the Committee of Public Works, Transportation, Energy and Water had issued a recommendation to the Lebanese Government to declare its intention to join the EITI; and whereas the Ministries of Energy and Water, and Finance had similarly issued such recommendations; therefore, the Lebanese Government announces its intention to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and declares to commit to the implementation and to nominate the Minister of Energy and Water to lead the process of the initiative’s implementation.”

















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