Lebanon’s acting energy minister Gebran Bassil has announced that 52 firms from 25 countries have submitted applications for the pre-qualifying round for the country’s offshore oil and gas.
Included amongst the bidders are major oil firms including Total, Shell, Statoil and Exxon Mobile, as well as Middle Eastern companies from Iran, Kuwait and the UAE.
The firms, if successful, will eventually form consortiums of three joint venture companies, but they are to be assessed individually on legal, financial, technical, and health and safety criteria.
The results of the applications will be announced next month, Bassil said. There will then be a six-month period of negotiation for companies to prepare their bids, with contracts expected to be signed early next year. However, no agreements can be formally agreed until a new government is formed.
Bassil said the bids were a "sign of faith" in Lebanon and added another 200 companies had withdrawn from the application process because of the tough conditions imposed by Lebanon. "Most of the major oil companies in the world, from all regions, have have put in submissions and this is surely a sign of faith and trust in Lebanon," he said.
The full list of companies and their country of origin is as follows:
MOL Group E&P
National Iranian Drilling Company
Circle Oil PLC
Novatec/GPB Global Resources
TPAO Turkish Petroleum