BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water announced on Monday that a coalition of international oil giants applied for the second gas offshore licensing round in two blocks in Lebanese waters.
In a statement carried by the official National News Agency, the ministry said the consortium, comprising France's TotalEnergies, Italy’s Eni and QatarEnergy, made its bidding at 3 p.m. on Monday, just one hour before the deadline for applications ended.
The ministry has extended the deadline to submit bids for exploration rights to blocks 8 and 10 in southern Lebanon several times since the tender was first launched in April 2019. More recently, the ministry extended the deadline from June 30 to Oct. 2 to give companies currently operating in Lebanese waters and others more time to prepare their tenders in order to ensure fair competition, according to a ministry statement.
The second licensing round comes after the same consortium began offshore exploration last month in block 9, also located in the south near the border with Israel. The consortium was awarded a contract for offshore exploration in 2018 after winning a tender during the first bidding round for gas exploration in blocks 9 and 4 in the Mediterranean Sea launched in 2017.