Author Archives: Joe Dyke

‘Oil and gas could make Lebanon worse’

‘Oil and gas could make Lebanon worse’

Martin Skancke is among the world’s leading consultants on the resource curse, commonly called ‘Dutch Disease’, wherein countries that discover oil and gas subsequently see a loss of competitiveness in other sectors of their economy. He has advised countries across the globe from Cyprus, to Ghana, to East Timor on the best way to manage

A looming shadow

Lebanese politicians are the least trustworthy in the world, or so its people think — in last month’s World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report the country scored 148th out of 148 in the ‘public trust in politicians’ category. The oil and gas industry is among the world’s most secretive, with Middle Eastern countries among the

LNG – Lebanese No Go?

One impact a serious delay to Lebanon’s oil and gas bids may have is to exacerbate a trend of the country falling behind its regional neighbors. In the early stages, something of a tug-of-war occurred between Israel and Lebanon, with both sides trying to attract Cyprus to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with

Dripping away

A “minor delay” is how he put it. In the weeks before the September 2 deadline for the Cabinet to meet and ensure the bidding process over the rights to extract Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas stayed on track, caretaker Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil seemed increasingly incredulous that the country looked set

Industry’s surprising success

If Lebanese industrialists are seeking a quantum of solace, it is that those around them are in a worse position. From tourism, to retail, to construction, many of Lebanon’s businessmen are more in the mire than industrialists. As Jacques Sarraf, chairman of Malia Group and former head of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, put it

Statistically unsound

Friends of mine recently visited Lebanon for the second time, roughly a year since their first trip. Over the course of their weeklong stay they commented on how much more expensive things had become, especially in Beirut. “Everything costs about 10 to 15 percent more,” one said after a particularly overpriced dinner in one of

The Arab supercar steers closer

When this magazine initially discussed the world’s ‘first Arab supercar’ nearly a year ago it is fair to say that the idea was a long way from fruition. Lebanese entrepreneur Ralph Debbas had big plans for his company W Motors and its $3.4 million Lycan cars, but they seemed remarkably like pipe dreams. Not so anymore. The basic facts of

Bassil – ‘Minor’ delay to oil and gas bids possible

Lebanon’s energy minister has provided the clearest hint yet that he expects a delay to the bidding process for the country’s offshore oil and gas, ahead of a Monday deadline. In an interview with Executive, Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil said that a “minor” delay was possible as the country’s political situation was

A response in crisis

Everyone is overwhelmed. United Nations bodies are desperately trying to raise funds, the Lebanese government is seeking to maintain control and local and international charities are providing care to the refugees across the country, all seemingly unable to cope with the sheer scale of the crisis. A country that is home to little more than