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At last, some movement is being recorded on the front of the exploration of oil and gas in Lebanon according to Assafir, who said that in the cabinet will approve the tendering timeline in its next meeting on Thursday.

Better late than never; we will keep a close eye on the progress, the but timeline is looking like this:

1- January 2013: start of the pre-qualification period for the interested companies
2- May 2013: start of the tendering period for the shortlisted qualified companies
3- December 2013: deadline for submittal of tenders
4- February 2014: announcement of winning tender after evaluation
5- May 2014: sign the contract after a period of negotiations
6- Some time in 2015: start of exploration works

The ministry said a 173-kilometer-long coastal gas pipeline that is due to connect the Beddawi power plant in the north to the Zahrani plant in the south will be commissioned next year, and to be completed in 2015. The project cost is around $450m with 19 companies short listed (probably just qualified – not sure they are all competitively tendering now as the high number doesn’t make sense).

I checked the Lebanese Energy and Water Ministry website, they have nothing related to the above matters or any tendering info, but they have instead – where links work – a very personalised version of Gibran Bassil’s mission to fight corruption and save Lebanon and the earth:

We worked for all the resources in the whole country, and for all the physical and intellectual, human and natural, traditional and alternative, sea and land, river and ground, wind and solar, water and oil, groundwater and surface water, mineral and vegetable, vibrant and renewable energies

Nice fluff. A big contrast to the transparent, informative, factual and corruption-fighting looking Israeli Energy and Water Ministry website though…