Beirut delays offshore energy auction

16 Jul 2014   Lebanon

Lebanon’s government postponed an offshore natural gas auction after rancor erupted Tuesday over the amount of revenue Beirut would get from energy companies. The Lebanese government estimates there are 95 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 750 million barrels of oil in its territorial waters. A committee led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam has only met a few times to discuss offshore prospects since it was formed early this year. A source close to ministerial negotiations for the auction told The Daily Star newspaper in Beirut policymakers “believe that the state should have a bigger royalty and higher taxes from the profits generated by the oil companies once the actual drilling starts.” Royalties of between 5 and 12 percent were seen as too low when compared with other countries. Lebanese Energy and Water Minister Arthur Nazarian is set in August to outline a new date […]

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