Based on the recommendation of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, the Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil declared on the 26th of January 2017 that blocks 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10 will be open for bidding during the first offshore licensing round in Lebanon. The LPA had already prepared a study driven by the following objectives that the Lebanese Government aims to achieve during the first licensing round:
• Hitting commercial discoveries that justify the required investments in infrastructure that will lead to the development of petroleum resources,
• Safeguarding the rights of Lebanon to benefit from its potential petroleum resources over its complete exclusive economic zone.
A set of different alternatives that satisfy the above objectives were studied and evaluated based on the following criteria leading to the selection of the open blocks, namely:
• Implementing a gradual licensing policy that gives the Lebanese state, public institutions and the economy the time to adapt and benefit from this new sector in a gradual and transitional manner;
• Investigating the potential of joint development whenever possible;
• Ensuring a conducive business environment for International Oil Companies;
• Taking into account health, safety and environmental standards.