The Lebanese Government has chosen 46 international oil and gas companies to bid for offshore gas exploration in its Mediterranean waters.
The country’s Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said 12 of the companies have been selected to bid as operators and the other 34 to bid as non-operators in the licensing round, starting next month.
Total, Statoil, Shell and ExxonMobil are some of the firms that have qualified as operators.
Mr Bassil said the strong interest shown by firms from the US, Europe and Asia showed a degree of international confidence in Lebanon despite the domestic disruption in the nation and the civil war in Syria.
Lebanon’s Mediterranean waters are believed to hold between 30-40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.