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Theoretically, Lebanon is on track to award the first contracts to explore for gas off the coast in 2018 after overcoming all the political, technical and legal hurdles that prevented the country from pursuing this goal four years earlier. Realistically, however, Lebanon may face serious challenges to meet all the deadlines which the Energy Ministry and Lebanese Petroleum Administration have set in their plan if the political blocs in the government fail to agree on an electoral law before June. Chbat Tuesday said that oil companies that prequalified for the first licensing round would assess the geological and political risks to decide whether to take part in the tender for oil and gas exploration off Lebanon's coast.The LPA will assess applications submitted by oil companies and then it will send a report to the Cabinet, which will decide by Nov. 15 on the companies that will win the tenders, and the first contract will then be due to be awarded before the end of the year.Lebanon is offering five of its 10 blocks for oil companies to bid on for exploration rights.
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