Search

Transparency

After the issuance of the Offshore Petroleum Resources Law (OPRL), it was necessary to put in place legal provisions that enforce commitment to transparency and combating corruption in the petroleum sector and to join international initiatives that enhance the disclosure of information and data related to the implementation of petroleum activities in the Lebanese Offshore. The issuance of the Law Enhancing Transparency in the Petroleum Sector in 2018 that covers the whole value chain of petroleum activities came in parallel with the issuance of other laws that enhance transparency and contribute to fighting corruption in the country in general, such as the Access to Information Law, the Law on Protection of Whistleblowers, and the law establishing the National Anti-Corruption Commission. Furthermore, some decrees including provisions about commitment to transparency and anti-corruption have also been issued.

Publication and Disclosure

The laws and decrees related to publication and disclosure mainly cover the publication and disclosure of agreements and contracts concluded by the state and public administrations and the financial statements of these ministries and administrations.
According to the provisions stipulated in these laws, the relevant authorities are required to publish contracts and documents and disclose information related to the sectors they manage. These laws also allow the public to request information in case such information is not classified as secret.

Access to Information Law

This law (no. 28/2018) gives every natural or legal person the right to access and view the information and documents in the administration without abusing of such right. This law established, for the first time in Lebanon, a rule for publishing automatically the decisions, instructions, circulars and notes that include an explanation of laws and related regulations on the administrations’ websites.
Click here to submit your electronic request of information.

Enhancing Transparency in the Petroleum Sector Law

Law no. 84/2018 (Law Enhancing Transparency in the Petroleum Sector) has been issued in October 2018. The two requirements of publication and disclosure under this law constitutes the main pillars to monitor the adequacy, credibility and quality of information related to petroleum activities during all phases starting with the prequalification of companies to participate in licensing rounds and going through the whole value chain until Decommissioning and the cessation of petroleum activities.

As per this law, The Administration, The relevant parties, Publication and Disclosure are defined as follows:

  • The Administration: the Lebanese Petroleum Administration, established under Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law OPRL).
  • The relevant parties: the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration based on the powers conferred to each of them under Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law OPRL), as well as all the ministries, administrations and government bodies directly relevant to petroleum activities.
  • Publication: mandatory publication to inform the public through the website of the Administration, and depending on the will of the publisher, informing the public though the Official Gazette and/or any other available mean.
  • Disclosure: making a certain information known by the public, whether it is new or unknown, by any available mean to inform the public, with the exception of the data and information classified as secret under the laws in force.

The two requirements of publication and disclosure, and the inherent deadlines

  • The relevant parties shall be required to make quarterly publication and/or disclosure of the information related to petroleum activities, in the specific situations as provided for in the present law.
  • The Right Holders Non-Operators and the Right Holders Operators shall be required to publish and/or disclose the information related to petroleum activities within the period of two months following the date of the incident, provided that disclosure should be made about any modification affecting this information during the period of two months following the date of modification. Any information classified as secret shall be excluded from the requirement of disclosure.
  • Phase: Prequalification

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Administration
    The Minister of Energy and Water
    • The standards and requirements adopted for pre-qualification when inviting the petroleum companies to register in the pre-qualification round, through or upon the announcement of the invitation.
    • The list of the petroleum companies applying for pre-qualification after the closing date of the pre-qualification applications.
    • The questions and requests for clarifications submitted by the companies applying for pre-qualification respectively with the responses and answers, without mentioning the names of companies requesting clarifications.
    • The results of the pre-qualification round to the companies applying for pre-qualification.

  • Phase: Awarding Petroleum Rights

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Administration
    • The requirements needed for the invitations to register in the licensing rounds, and the tender protocols related to these rounds.
    • The blocks subject of the bid, and the list of applicants for the bid.
    • The numbers of blocks that were opened, the list of all the applicants for the bidding and the names of companies that won the bidding to carry out activities of exploration and production.
    • The standards required to grant Licenses, on which the subcontracting will be based.
    • The blocks subject of the bid, and the list of applicants for the bid.
    • All the information related to granting, transferring and waiving Petroleum Licenses to qualified companies.
    • The Administration’s recommendations related to the results of the licensing round.
    • Any information or procedure that must be registered in the Petroleum Register, including the disclosure of the Beneficial Owner by the companies holding Petroleum Licenses.
    • Make the data registered in the Petroleum Register available to the public, on the Administration’s website or by obtaining them directly from the Administration.
    The Minister of Energy and Water
    • The requirements needed for the invitations to participate in the licensing rounds, and the tender protocols related to these rounds.
    • The blocks subject of the bidding, and the list of applicants participating in the bid round.
    • The numbers of blocks that were opened, the list of all the applicants participating in the bid round and the names of companies that won the bid to carry out activities of exploration and production.
    • The standards required to grant Licenses, on which the subcontracting will be based.
    • The blocks subject of the bidding, and the list of applicants participating in the bid round.
    • All the information related to granting, transferring and waiving Petroleum Licenses and transfer to qualified companies.
    • The Administration's recommendations related to the results of the licensing round.
    The Ministry of Finance

    The amount of overdraft charges relevant to the bidding applications, to be paid by the pre-qualified companies to the Ministry in order to participate in the licensing round.

    The Council of Ministers
    • The Model of the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA) prior to awarding the Petroleum Right.
    • The final results of the licensing round
    • The Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA) signed by the Right Holders

    All the information related to granting, transferring and waiving Petroleum Licenses to the qualified companies.

    The Companies (Right Holders)

    Any information or procedure that must be registered in the Petroleum Register, including the disclosure of the Beneficial Owner by the companies holding Petroleum Licenses.

  • Phase: Exploration and Production Activities

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Administration
    • Any Petroleum License granted pursuant to the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).
    • The appointment and replacement of the operator.
    • Every process of waiving or transferring a Petroleum Right according to the provisions of Article 70 of Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law OPRL) and other applicable regulations.
    • The information related to the results of exploration activities and exploration wells, and a continuous update of the information related to oil discoveries and commercial discoveries.
    • Block coordinates for which a Petroleum Right is awarded, and the coordinates of the areas relinquished voluntarily or after the end of exploration phases as specified in Law no. 132/2010 and in the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).
    • The detailed information related to the activities of production, processing, collection, storage, transportation and disposal.
    • The information and studies related to the environmental quality, health and safety related to the petroleum activities.
    • The calculated value of the area fees due from Non-operator Right Holders and Operator Right Holders.
    • The amount of cost recovery, as specified in the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).
    • Production data for each fiscal year.
    • The methodology used for the valuation and pricing of the Petroleum Produced and the petroleum prepared for the domestic market consumption.
    • Amount of royalty and profit petroleum.
    • The quantities and values of the petroleum sold according to the type of hydrocarbons produced and the export destination.
    • Any information or procedure contained in the Petroleum Register, as indicated in Article 52 of Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law).
    • Disclosure of all the companies holding service agreements with Subcontractors, and application of final beneficial ownership.
    The Minister of Energy and Water

    All the Licenses granted to the Right Holders Non-Operators and Right Holders Operators, including the two licenses of drilling and production

    The Ministry of Finance
    • The amount of area fees due from the Right Holders Non-Operators and the Right Holders Operators.
    • The value of taxes on the petroleum activities already collected by the Ministry of Finance.
    The Council of Ministers
    • The Joint Operating Agreements (JOAs).
    • The information related to the approval of appointing and replacing the operator.
    • The approval on the Development and Production Plan (DPP)
    • The approval on the process of waiving or transferring a Petroleum Right according to the provisions of Article 70 of Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law OPRL) and other applicable regulations.
    The Companies (Right Holders)
    • The amount of cost recovery, as specified in the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).
    • Their respective share in the profit petroleum.
    • Production data for each fiscal year.
    • The methodology used for the valuation and pricing of the Petroleum Produced and the petroleum prepared for the domestic market consumption.
    • The amounts and values of royalties and the Profit Petroleum share of the State.
    • The quantities and values of the petroleum sold according to the type of hydrocarbons produced and the export destination.
    • The decommissioning procedures.
    • The amount of the quarterly payments made by these companies into the account of the Decommissioning Fund.
    • The amount of taxes due from the companies.
    • Any information or procedure contained in the Petroleum Register, as indicated in Article 52 of Law no. 132/2010 (Offshore Petroleum Resources Law).
    • Disclosure of all the companies holding service agreements with Subcontractors, and application of final beneficial ownership.

    The companies holding a license from outside the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA) to undertake exclusively the petroleum activities related to transportation and storage shall apply the procedures of disclosure provided for in the Law Enhancing Transparency.

  • Phase: Decommissioning

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Administration
    • The information and studies related to the environmental quality, health, safety and environment related to the petroleum activities.
    • The decommissioning procedures to be undertaken by Right Holders.
    The Ministry of Finance

    The amount of taxes collected during the phase of decommissioning.

    The Companies (Right Holders)
    • The information related to the content of the decommissioning plan of petroleum activities and decommissioning, with the exception of the information classified as confidential.
    • The date of creation of the Decommissioning Fund.
    • The estimated future costs of decommissioning.
    • The total of the estimated tariffs and duties resulting from building or operating any facility, depending on the Petroleum Rights document in the absence of the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).
    • The total costs estimated for the decommissioning, regarding the preferred alternative for the right holders in terms of decommissioning and other alternative solutions for this cessation.
    • The amount of the quarterly payments made by these companies into the account of the Decommissioning Fund.
    • The amount of taxes due from the companies.
    • The amount of cost recovery, as specified in the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA).

  • Phase: Management of Petroleum Resources

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Ministry of Finance
    The Council of Ministers
    The entity tasked with the management of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)
    • The revenues from the petroleum activities registered in the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
    • The revenues withdrawn from the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), in the authorized cases according to the regulations of the Fund, and the amounts allocated for investment withdrawn from the Fund while indicating the investment purpose.
    • The rules of investment for the funds held in the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and the yearly revenues from such investment.

  • Phase: Recruitment

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Minister of Energy and Water
    The Administration
    The Right Holders Non-Operators
    The Right Holders Operators
    The state-owned companies
    The subcontractors
    • The identity of the employees working in the petroleum sector
    • The respective ratios of national workers and foreign resident workers.
    • The identity of the employees working in the petroleum sector.
    • The respective ratios of national workers and foreign resident workers.
    Ministries
    Administrations
    Public institutions which work is related to petroleum activities
    State-owned companies Para-public companies

    Recruitment processes related to petroleum activities.

    Recruitment processes related to petroleum activities.

    The Companies (Right Holders)
    • Announce the vacant positions to be filled on the website of the Right Holders and on the website of the Administration.
    • The final results for filling these vacant positions in a manner that allows for the candidates to easily track these results.

    Recruitment processes related to petroleum activities.

  • Social Expenditures

    Publishing/Disclosing Party Requirements of Publication Requirements of Disclosure
    The Companies (Right Holders)

    The amount of social expenditures and the list of relevant beneficiaries, in a documented and detailed manner that allows for auditing and analyzing, as well as monitoring whether they are executed according to the applicable legislations.

    The beneficiaries

    The amount of social expenditures they obtain from the companies, and shall demonstrate how these amounts are being expended.

Decree on Registration, Mortgaging and Transfer of Petroleum Rights (in progress)

The Decree on Registration, Mortgaging and Transfer of Petroleum Rights stipulates the creation of a Petroleum Register to record awarded Petroleum Rights and any changes or mortgages related to these Petroleum Rights. The Petroleum Register secures the rights of the Right Holders, establishes notoriety towards third parties (other than the State and the Right Holders) and transparency regarding the specified Registrable Petroleum Rights.

The information contained in the Petroleum Register is publicly available, including electronically via internet, and any natural or legal Person may request a printout certificate from the Petroleum Register.

The provisions of this decree go beyond Right Holders and their affiliates and wholly-owned affiliates to cover Beneficial Owners and Politically Exposed Persons who own shares and rights in these companies.

Decree on Contracts Disclosure (in progress)

The Decree on Contracts Disclosure aims to complete the legislative framework related to transparency in the petroleum sector. This decree sets the principle of disclosing contracts between Right Holders and Contractors and between Right Holders and Subcontractors.

Accountability

The legal provisions related to accountability are distributed among the various legal texts related to the legislative framework of the petroleum sector. These provisions have been put into effect since the issuance of the Petroleum Activities Regulations (Decree no. 10289/2013) which includes an article entitled "Prevention of Corruption" (Article 162). Subsequently, the Model Exploration and Production Agreement was issued pursuant to Decree No. 43/2017 (amended by Decree No. 4918/2019). This model included two articles related to accountability, one entitled "Right Holder Conduct” (Article 41) and the second entitled "Conflict of Interest" (Article 42).

In the year 2018, the Law Enhancing Transparency in the Petroleum Sector (No. 84/2018) has been issued, and it has included provisions about accountability and provisions to fight corruption, especially provisions related to the refrainment of public officials of all ranks from combining their position with the investment in the oil and gas sector in Lebanon. This law also grants "oil and gas associations" in Lebanon, the right to prosecute those involved in corruption within specific controls. The law also grants the National Anti-Corruption Commission powers to ensure the proper implementation of Law No. 84/2018 and to monitor the adequacy, credibility and quality of information that requires disclosure or publication, as well as the power to receive complaints related to the implementation of the provisions of this law.

Also in the year 2018, the Law for the Protection of Whistleblowers has been issued (Law no. 83/2018 published in the Official Gazette no. 45 issued on October 18, 2018), which grants protection and some incentives to a person who denunciates any act or omission, that happened or may happen, and it is believed that it relates to, evidences or helps to prove corruption, provided that its disclosure is submitted exclusively to the National Anti-Corruption Commission in accordance with the principles specified in the law. This law defines corruption as the employee's exploitation of the authority, position, or work with the goal of achieving undue legal benefits.

Back to top