The EPA is the contract that regulates the relationship between the State and Right Holders providing the latter with the right to explore, develop and produce oil and gas within a defined block. Once the companies sign the EPA, they are required to comply with the Offshore Petroleum Resources Law (OPRL) and the Petroleum Activities Regulations (PAR), as well as other applicable Lebanese laws and decrees. Model EPAs are issued for each licensing round. Click here to download the signed EPA for block 4, here to download the signed EPA of block 9, and here for more information about the model EPA for the Second Offshore Licensing Round.
The Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA) is a contract between the State and the international or national oil companies, providing the companies with the right to explore, develop and produce oil and gas offshore Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Once the companies sign the EPA, they are required to comply with the Offshore Petroleum Resources Law (OPRL) and the Petroleum Activities Regulations (PAR), as well as other applicable Lebanese laws and Decrees. Click here for more information
The Right Holder Operator manages the day-to-day field operations on behalf of other Right Holders Non-Operators through handling the design and execution of the exploration programme; the well design, drilling, completion and production; and the engineering, infrastructure and facilities construction and maintenance. Right Holders Non Operators contribute to ensure that the Operator conducts prudent Petroleum Activities, and they participate in the Managing Committee of the Consortium in such a way to provide co-financing for the project, and to undergo commercial and marketing activities in addition to providing technical inputs.
EPAs are awarded through open and competitive licensing rounds to a consortium of pre-qualified companies.
The Tender Protocol (TP) describes in details the bidding and evaluation criteria, which results in the allocation of blocks to the winning consortiums and the start of petroleum activities. The TP also defines the financial conditions related to the bidding process fees and guarantees.
In order to be pre-qualified individual companies must meet a set of legal, financial, technical and QHSE conditions to meet. Only bids from pre-qualified companies are considered. The LPA quantitatively evaluates the commercial and technical proposals. The best offers are ranked and presented to the Minister of Energy and Water. In turn, the Minister of Energy and Water conducts the negotiations then presents a report to the Council of Ministers containing the results of the negotiations and the recommendation. The Council of Ministers reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to decide whether or not to award an EPA and to accept or reject any Licensing Round Application.
More specifically for the Second Offshore Licensing Round, a company interested in acquiring an EPA for a specific open block within Lebanon’s Second Offshore Licensing Round presents a Licensing Round Application containing two separate packages: the pre-qualification application package and the EPA application package. The LPA first evaluates pre-qualification applications and announces the results. In turn, the LPA only proceeds with the evaluation of pre-qualified applicants’ EPA application packages including the commercial and technical proposals. The final decision with respect to awarding blocks is based on the Council of Ministers decision.
Click here to view the TP of the First Offshore Licensing Round. Click here to view the updated TP for the Pre-Qualification of Applicants and the award of EPAs for the Second Offshore Licensing Round.
For more information about the Second Offshore Licensing Round click here.
Lebanon’s First Offshore Licensing Round had two objectives: striking a commercial discovery in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone and retaining Lebanon’s sovereign rights with respect to its prospective wealth around its borders. In this regard, blocks 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10 were open for bidding during that licensing round.
Following the first pre-qualification round in 2013, forty six companies have been pre-qualified out of which twelve as potential right-holders “operators” and thirty four as potential Right Holders “non-operators”. A second prequalification round took place in 2017 to give the opportunities to new companies to participate in Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round. In 2017, ten new submissions were received including two for operatorship and eight for non-operatorship. All, in all, the overall number of pre-qualified companies sums up to fifty one companies. The results of the first and second prequalification rounds are not valid anymore after the conclusion of the first licensing round. Click here for more information.
One consortium presented offers on blocks 4 and 9 during Lebanon’s First Offshore Licensing Round. The consortium is formed of three Right Holders Total S.A., Eni International BV and JSC Novatek; Total is the Right Holder Operator.
Two objectives have been identified for Lebanon’s Second Offshore Licensing Round:
1. To intensify exploration activities in the Lebanese offshore.
2. To increase the attractiveness of the Lebanese offshore and promote competition.
To serve these objectives blocks 1, 2, 5, 8 and 10 are open for bidding until 31 January2020.
Lebanon abides by a gradual licensing policy, and the number of blocks to be awarded will depend on the quality of the bids received, the overall evaluation taking into account the existing context and the objectives of the licensing round. As per the Tender Protocol, applicants are allowed to bid for any of the open blocks, however, any given Applicant may only be awarded a maximum of two blocks. Furthermore, the LPA can recommend that no blocks are to be awarded and the Council of Ministers reserves the right to decide whether or not to award an EPA.
According to the Tender Protocol, an application remains valid for a period of 180 days as from the deadline of submitting applications. The Minister of Energy and Water, upon the recommendation of the LPA, is eligible to decide the extension of the period in such a way not exceeding 90 days. Any further extensions of the validity of the application is subject to the approval of the Applicant.