The bids came from Greece’s Energean, an existing investor, and a consortium of Indian firms; there was little wider international interest. Neighbouring Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas exploration round, which closed on October 12, was similarly disappointing, with just two bids received from one consortium consisting of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.
- Political uncertainties following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri could slow hydrocarbons exploration.
- The Lebanese government will be under domestic political pressure from NGOs to ensure transparency in its award of exploration licences.
- Israel will launch further bid rounds for the remaining blocks, but these are unlikely to produce a different result.