BEIRUT: Lebanon is moving forward with its oil and gas resources, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil announced Friday.
“Gone are the days when Lebanon was known for wasting wealth and energy," Bassil told a news conference held at the Energy Ministry in Beirut.
"Lebanon announces today that it has become a country on the path of oil and gas,” he said. “There is no going back and no halt."
“The dream will stay a reality as long as we are in the Energy Ministry,” Bassil vowed.
The announcement came as Bassil launched a pre-qualification process for companies wishing to take part in the licensing rounds for petroleum activities in offshore Lebanon.
Bassil said Lebanon has achieved “in record time and with limited resources what other countries could not achieve in years.”
“In less than three years we were able to develop a modern law for petroleum materials, organized seminars and roundtables ... created an information center, surveyed all our offshore, analyzed some of them and we are still working to complete the survey and analysis,” he added.
The conference was attended by international companies, members of the Petroleum Administration, as well as Arab and Western envoys, including U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly.
Also present was Gamal Abouali, partner in Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton's Abu Dhabi office. The top-tier international law firm is acting as legal advisors to the Petroleum Administration-Lebanon in relation to the offshore petroleum licensing round