The crew on board the Polarcus Adira in the Mediterranean Sea, Thursday, May 30, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Parliament's approval of the oil tax law with few amendments will encourage international oil firms to bid for offshore gas blocks on Oct. 12, a source close to the Petroleum Administration said Tuesday.According to the Energy Ministry, 51 companies to date have qualified to bid in the 2017 round.The 2013 round prequalified 12 operators to bid along with 34 nonoperating companies. The companies have also urged the Petroleum Administration to give them more time to form a consortium between some of the firms in order to bid for the blocks. One of the conditions for the bidding is that the companies should form an alliance of three firms to explore one offshore block. The Petroleum Administration will now examine the approved tax law.The Petroleum Administration has proposed a 20 percent income tax on the oil companies interested in exploring gas off the Lebanese coast.
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