Special Report articles

In the fog

In the fog

Assessing the insurance industry of Lebanon at the current junction of global insurance challenges, regional vagaries, domestic economic hurdles, and the country’s ongoing political issues is not without difficulty. Just as with the national economy, there are hopes and interesting prospects, but they are mainly just over the horizon—whether in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria

A roadmap for 2018

This article was originally published in print on February 2, 2018 as part of Executive’s special report on oil & gas. At the end of January, Lebanon signed oil and gas Exploration and Production Agreements (EPA) with a consortium of companies composed of France’s Total (as operator), Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek. The consortium had

Q&A with LPA

Lebanon is approaching a milestone nearly eight years in the making. In December, cabinet awarded two separate exploration licenses to a consortium of three companies: France’s Total (the operator), Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek. Contracts were signed at the end of January, leaving the consortium and the government about one year for preparatory work ahead

One eye open

In the midst of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas licensing round, the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI), an independent NGO aiming to develop a network of Lebanese oil and gas experts, commissioned a study about the 52 companies that had prequalified to bid. This research allowed LOGI to evaluate the companies based on

Environmental impact

Five years ago, Lebanon was ready to invite companies to explore for oil and gas offshore. A law organizing offshore exploration had been passed, an environmental study—known as a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)—to study and mitigate the effects of exploration on the environment had been prepared, a regulator had been appointed, and the bid round

Lebanon’s O&G wealth

Lebanon signed oil and gas exploration contracts on January 29, and officials hope to one day save and invest proceeds from selling and taxing the resources, if commercial quantities are found. It could take time to find oil and gas deposits off the coast of Lebanon, and even more time to extract and bring them

Saving us from ourselves

Along the coastal highway in Batroun, north of Beirut, is a billboard that reads “Lebanon is now an oil producer.” For now, that is optimism, not reality. Offshore wells will not be drilled before 2019, and until they are, the extent of Lebanon’s oil and gas reserves—if they exist—will remain unknown. But with an answer

Innovation economy needs investment

Lebanon being Lebanon, there are no statistics. But by the accounts of stakeholders throughout the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, one big gap is not being filled: strong financial support from the state for research and development (R&D). Many governments make R&D investments, and the Lebanese government does fund the National Center for Scientific Research—which has four

Still starting up

Over the past four or five years, it has been conceived, announced, born, developed, mapped, hyped, challenged, expanded, reassessed, praised, mapped again, hyped to excess, and questioned. But all the talk makes it hard to assess the true state of Lebanon’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2017. Finance—in form of the funds mobilized under Circular 331,

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