As Lebanon stands on the brink of a new spasm of sectarian bloodletting, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil says he plans to go ahead with moves to launch exploration of offshore gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean on Jan. 10. That’s when the Energy Ministry has scheduled an auction in which some 46 international oil companies selected in April will bid to exploration rights on half a dozen offshore blocks, the first step toward exploiting what could be Lebanon’s last chance at finding economic salvation, and possibly political harmony, since independence from France in 1943. But with Lebanon’s fractious religious sects at each other’s throats again, the victims of regional power rivalries as much as their own historical feuding, Lebanon’s prospects of an energy bonanza seem to be slipping away. Bassil told an oil and gas conference in Beirut Wednesday that he was committed […]