Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil at a news conference on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil Thursday said that the government's approval of two crucial oil and gas decrees offers positive signs to interested companies, revealing that the country will start by offering five blocks for bidding.The minister said that the Lebanese government and the Petroleum Administration will offer five blocks out of the present 10 off the coast for bidding.The minister also revealed that 46 companies had been given the green light to participate in the first round of bidding.Former Energy Minister Gebran Bassil has said gas reserves off the Lebanese coast could potentially exceed 96 trillion cubic feet.Abi Khalil expressed his belief that the country could sign a deal within nine months with the company that secures the first round of bidding.
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