7 February 2017
THE OIL FOR DEVELOPMENT (OFD) PROGRAMME THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
The OfD programme has entered its third year since the start of the three-year agreement between Lebanon and Norway back in 2015. On the 7th of February 2017 took place the third OfD annual meeting in Beirut, which aimed to discuss the achievements of the previous year, and to approve the work plan and the budget for the year ahead together with setting the priorities in light of the most recent developments that occurred – namely the launching of Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round.
The annual meeting brought together representatives from Norwegian institutions and directorates such as the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), the Norwegian Environmental Agency (NEA), the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) and the Oil Taxation Office (OTO); along with representatives from the Lebanese Ministries of Finance and Environment.
The LPA’s Chairman Mr Wissam Chbat opened the session by welcoming the Norwegian and Lebanese counterparts involved in the programme and emphasized that the milestones achieved to date would not have been possible without the valuable assistance that the OfD programme provided to Lebanese institutions in terms of capacity building and preparedness for launching the upcoming bid round.
In turn, H.E. Ambassador of Norway to Lebanon Lene Lind expressed her satisfaction regarding the OfD programme in Lebanon, which represents a significant bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Lind also congratulated the Lebanese government on the milestones achieved and applauded the government’s recent decision to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Additionally, Lind acknowledged that Lebanon is now well placed to join emerging petroleum producing countries given the capacity it acquired throughout the years. Lind praised the counterparts on the results jointly achieved in 2016 and highlighted the importance of a continuous open and frank dialogue among the different partners throughout the programme so to increase understanding in a complex environment. Finally, Lind explained that the Lebanese counterparts’ request to continue the programme beyond 2017 will be evaluated in due time.
Representatives from Norwegian and Lebanese institutions involved in the programme expressed their satisfaction regarding the implemented activities, which resulted in significant knowledge and expertise acquisition to date. The counterparts mentioned that the next phase will be dedicated to building operational capacities.
25 January 2017
LEBANESE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED ITS INTENTION TO JOIN THE EITI
The Cabinet approved on the 25th of January 2017 the re-launch of Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round for oil and gas exploration, and publicly announced the willingness of the Lebanese government to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The Cabinet convened at the Baabda Palace under the Chairmanship of the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, and in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri who attended the session together with other Ministers.
The Council of Ministers statement reads as follows:
“The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) represents a standard in terms of oil, gas and mineral resources management in countries implementing the initiative. Governments, civil society organizations and international oil and gas exploration and production companies jointly implement the EITI standards.
In this regard, the implementation of the initiative is centered around a clear and constructive partnership among the State, civil society organizations and petroleum companies. The required cooperation among these different parties is necessary to implement all the provisions stipulated by the initiative to ensure transparency in the oil and gas sector, and to set a precedent by being an example to other sectors in Lebanon.
Whereas the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) had recommended joining the EITI to promote transparency in the oil and gas sector; whereas the Committee of Public Works, Transportation, Energy and Water had issued a recommendation to the Lebanese Government to declare its intention to join the EITI; and whereas the Ministries of Energy and Water, and Finance had similarly issued such recommendations; therefore, the Lebanese Government announces its intention to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and declares to commit to the implementation and to nominate the Minister of Energy and Water to lead the process of the initiative’s implementation.”