Lebanon’s prospects of gas bonanza slip further away

10 Jan 2014   Lebanon

With Lebanon’s long-awaited auction for exploration licenses in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean postponed because there’s no functioning government, time may be running out for the tiny country to grasp what’s likely to be its last chance for economic salvation as it slips once more toward sectarian savagery. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil was supposed to hold the auction Friday, but on Wednesday he postponed it — for the third time — to April 10 after political rivalries blocked the caretaker government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati from convening to endorse two decrees authorizing the bidding for exploration blocks in Lebanon’s maritime exclusive economic zone. “This is the last time bidding will be delayed,” he declared, although it was far from clear why that should be so since the political paralysis gripping the nation is not expected to end anytime soon. Bassil insisted the auction […]

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