Oil firms frustrated by political bickering: CEO

File - Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Some international oil companies fear that Lebanon may miss another opportunity to hold an offshore gas auction on April 10 due to sharp political differences, the CEO of an energy firm warned Monday.

“There are some companies which are already looking for other countries to do business. They can’t wait until the politicians end their differences,” the executive told The Daily Star on condition of anonymity.

Caretaker Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil has said that his party refuses to give up his post in any new government.

Bassil recently postponed for a second time the gas licensing round until April 10, stressing that he would proceed with the auction whether a new Cabinet was formed.

“I know for sure that oil companies are still interested in participating in a second round of licensing, but we fear Lebanon may miss this date,” the CEO said.

He added that the oil companies just want to do business in Lebanon.

“But the political uncertainty is of a concern for the companies. If politicians end their differences and form a Cabinet then these firms will return to Lebanon,” the CEO said.

Meanwhile, Bassil said in a news conference Monday that the final draft for the onshore oil and gas law has been completed and would be sent to the authorities soon.

He also revealed that the initial findings of the onshore oil and gas survey conducted a few months ago were encouraging, noting that the final report would be completed in eight weeks.

“The onshore draft law underlines the importance of strong cooperation between the state and the private companies which will make investments in the oil sector,” Bassil said.

He added that onshore oil and gas extraction was faster and less expensive then exploring for gas off the coast.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 28, 2014, on page 5.




Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here