Lebanon gov’t qualifies bidders for offshore exploration

07 Feb 2013

(MENAFN) The Lebanese government has given its approval for a number of companies bidding in the country’s first offshore oil and gas exploration license, the Daily Star reported.

A list of qualified explorers is expected to be issued by March-end and they can place bids starting May 2 for six months, according to the paper.

Royal Dutch Shell, Cairn Energy and Cove Energy are among companies that have expressed interest in bidding for a license, the newspaper said.

In September 2012, the paper said that the size of the country’s offshore natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean is about 25 trillion cubic feet (tcf), greater than that of Cyprus and Syria combined, citing Spectrum Company, which carried out 3D seismic surveys off the southern shore of Lebanon.

Such reserves could help the country cut its massive public debt, which reached USD57.6 billion at the end of November, according to the Association of Banks in Lebanon.

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