The arrival of the vessel sets the ground to the start of the drilling operations in Block 9 offshore Lebanon by TotalEnergies (as Right-Holder Operator), Eni and Qatar Energy (as Right-Holders Non-Operators).
The drilling of the Well Qana 31/1 in Block9 is slated to last approximately 67 days.
The arrival of the Transocean Barents at Lebanon's Block 9 marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the country's energy journey. All eyes will be on the exploration efforts, eagerly awaiting the results that could shape Lebanon's future as an energy player in the region.
The Minister of Energy and Water issued on 26 June 2023, a decision extending the deadline for the submission of Lebanon's Second Offshore Licensing Round Applications till 2 October 2023 and determining some related procedures. Click here to download the Minister's decision.
TotalEnergies conducted a second Environmental Baseline Survey in Block 9 offshore Lebanon in February 2023 following the first EBS conducted in 2019. Click here to watch the video for more information.
On 29/1/2023, Lebanon celebrated the entry of Qatar Energy Company as a Right Holder non-operator in blocks 4 and 9 in the Lebanese Offshore, by joining the consortium of Right Holders companies that own petroleum rights in these two blocks, along with the French company Total Energies and the Italian company Eni.
During the ceremony, it was announced the signing of the two amending addenda to the Exploration and Production Agreements (in blocks 4 and 9), in which the participation interests are distributed as follows: /35%/ (thirty-five percent) for TotalEnergies, /35%/ (thirty-five percent) For Eni and /30%/ (thirty percent) for Qatar Energy.
The ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Energy and Water and at the Grand Serail (the headquarters of the Prime Minister), was attended by the Minister of Energy and Water representing the Lebanese State and Minister of State for Energy Affairs of the State of Qatar, the CEO of Qatar Energy Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the CEO of Total Energies Mr. Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of Eni Mr. Claudio Descalzi, the ambassadors of the consortium countries and members of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration.
Click here to view the full proceedings of the ceremony announcing the signing of the two amend amending addenda to the Exploration and Production Agreements.
Pursuant to Articles 9 and 10 of Law no. 84/2018 (Enhancing Transparency in the Petroleum Sector) requiring the Lebanese Petroleum Administration the disclosure of any information regarding the award of Petroleum Licenses, the transfer of Petroleum Licenses, or the Assignment of Petroleum Licenses to qualified companies, in addition to the disclosure of the information and procedure regarding the registration in the Petroleum Register, particularly the disclosure of beneficial owner(s) of licensed petroleum companies, as well as information related to the identification and replacement of the Operator, and information concerning each assignment or transfer of Petroleum Rights according to Article 70 of Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources), the Petroleum Administration discloses the following:
• Firstly: The Forced Assignment of the previous Right Holder “Novatek Lebanon SAL” of its participating interests in the Exploration and Production Agreements.
Following the withdrawal of the former Right Holder Non-Operator “Novatek Lebanon SAL” from the Exploration and Production Agreements in Blocks 4 & 9 Offshore Lebanon, the Minister of Energy and Water exercised the Forced Assignment provisions stipulated in Article 36.2 of both Agreements, based on the Petroleum Administration’s recommendation no. 6/2022 in this regard, and that under the Minsters’ decisions no. 11 D/M dated 13/9/2022 and no.12 D/M dated 13/10/2022 (published on the Petroleum Administration’s Website).
Thus, the 20% (twenty percent) Participating Interests of the previous Right Holder (Novatek Lebanon SAL) in both agreements, have been transferred to the Lebanese State on 13/10/2022.
• Secondly: The Assignment of the Right Holder-Operator “TotalEnergies EP Liban SAL” to the French company “DAJA 215” (Simple Joint-Stock Company).
According to the provisions of Article 70 of Law no.132/2010 (OPRL), and according to the provisions of Article 34.2 of the Exploration and Production Agreement in Block 9, the Council of Ministers approved through an Exceptional Approval from the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister the Assignment of the Participating Interest (40%)of the Right Holder Operator “TotalEnergies EP Liban SAL” to the French Company “DAJA 215” (Simple Joint-Stock Company) which has acquired its qualification from the Lebanese Petroleum Administration.
The change of Operator in Block 9 Pursuant to the provisions of Article 20 of Law no.132/2010 (OPRL), was also approved, to become “DAJA 215” as the new Right Holder Operator in this Block following the aforementioned assignment by the previous Operator.
• Thirdly: The temporary Assignment from the Lebanese State, as a Right Holder Non-Operator of its participating Interests in the Exploration and Production Agreements in Blocks 4 and 9, to the French Company “DAJA 216” (Simple Joint-Stock Company).
According to the provisions of Article 70 of Law no.132/2010, and according to the provisions of Article 34.3 of the Exploration and Production Agreement in Blocks 4 and 9, The Council of Ministers approved through the Exceptional Approval the assignment of The Lebanese State’s participating Interests as a Right Holder Non-Operator in the Exploration and Production Agreements in Blocks 4 and 9 (twenty percent in each agreement) to the qualified company “DAJA 216” on a temporary basis, so that the company, and within three months of the Exceptional Approval, assigns these participating Interests to qualified oil and gas/energy company/companies as per the provisions of Article 70 of Law no.132/2010.
This ratification is conditioned on the fact that the two participating interests are due to the ownership of the Lebanese State in case “DAJA 216” did not assign its participating Interests, as mentioned above, to a qualified global company which its object to conduct Petroleum Activities, and that is within three months of the date of ratification of the assignment to the State.
In case “DAJA 216” charges any amounts from the ceding company/companies for this assignment or achieves benefits of all kinds through inter-agreements, these amounts must then be repaid and all the benefits reimbursed to the Lebanese State.
For the sole purpose of assignment, the Rights Holders in Block 9 are exempted from the obligations mentioned in Article 34.3(b) of the Exploration and Production Agreement in Block 9 since the Minimum Work Commitment for the first Exploration Period, which consists of drilling one exploration well, has not yet been fulfilled due to the previous situation on the border area.
• Fourthly: “DAJA 215” and “DAJA 216” are indirectly wholly owned by the initial Right Holder in Blocks 4 and 9 “TotalEnergies SE” (previously “Total SA” – refer to the Minster of Energy and Water decision no.2 D/M dated 14/10/2021, published in the Official Gazette and on the Petroleum Administration’s website).
Click here to download the Minister’s Decision No. 11/2022
Click here to download the Minister's Decision No. 12/2022
Two new Decrees related to the Lebanese oil and gas sector have been published in the Lebanese Official Gazette (Issues no 21 dated 12 May 2022 and no. 22 dated 19 May 2022).
The first one is Decree no. 9094 dated 29 April 2022 which amended article 26 of Decree no. 10289/2013 related to the retrieval fee that was discounted from /50,000/ USD to /5000/ USD.
The second one is Decree no. 9095 dated 29 April 2022 which amended the Tender Protocol for prequalification of applicants and the award of Exploration and Production Agreements for the participation in the Second Offshore Licensing Round. This decree also amended several articles and annexes of the Exploration and Production Model Agreement.
The new Tender Protocol covers provisions for the online submission of applications by oil and gas companies willing to participate in this bid round.
The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) will publish on its website, as soon as possible, the integral text of the Exploration and Production Model Agreement and its Annexes issued by Decree no. 43/2017 and as was amended by Decree 4918/2019 and Decree no. 9095/2022.
Click here to download Decree no. 9094 | Click here to download Decree no. 9095
The Decree no. 6437/2020 (allowing applicants to submit applications of the second offshore licensing round online, was cancelled by Decree no. 9095/2022 and the provisions of the canceled Decree have been added to the provisions of the new Tender Protocol issued by decree 9095/2022.
To review the online submission procedures, kindly refer to Article 9.9 of the new Tender Protocol and to its Exhibits no. 9 and 10.