The institutional organization of the petroleum sector in Lebanon falls under the hierarchy of the country’s governance. The Parliament is on top of the pyramid of governance and it is entitled by the Constitution to supervise the Council of Ministers and the Ministers’ performance, including the Minister of Energy and Water, whose powers are determined by the Offshore Petroleum Resources law (OPRL) (Law no. 132/2010). The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) is placed under the tutelage of the Minister of Energy and Water.
The OPRL sets the layers of governance of the petroleum sector and defines the role of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Energy and Water and the LPA. The Council of Ministers has the decision-making powers related to the sector. The Minister of Energy and Water is responsible for the implementation of the petroleum policy put in place by the Council of Ministers and the proper execution of the OPRL provisions. The Minister is also in charge of the supervision and control of petroleum activities. The LPA is a public institution that enjoys a financial and administrative independence and is vested with the powers of managing and supervising the sector and controlling petroleum activities. The LPA submits its recommendations to the Minister before taking any decision related to the sector.
The OPRL also provides for the obligation of cooperation and coordination among relevant ministries in order to ensure the functioning of the petroleum sector. Therefore, the implementation of petroleum activities requires obtaining certain licenses and permits from some ministries, and this task is accomplished through the Minister of Energy and Water, who, when needed, addresses the relevant ministers in order to put in place procedures and take decisions for the implementation of petroleum activities.