The Oil for Development programme in Lebanon
On 17 May 2018, the Council of Ministers approved the recommendation of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) to prepare for Lebanon’s Second Offshore Licensing Round.
OfD support to Lebanon started in 2006. The second phase of the programme began in January 2015 and the third phase commenced with the signing of the new agreements in June 2018. The third phase of the programme has been designed around fit-for-purpose activities that meet the needs of the operational phase of Lebanon’s petroleum sector development.
Key achievements of programme activities
Enhanced legal and regulatory framework
- On behalf of the Right Holders in block 4, the Minister of Energy and Water approved the Application for Drilling Permit (ADP) submitted by Total. The support in mobilising the OfD experts was key in the successful review of the ADP.
- The Ministry of Environment (MoE) approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for drilling in block 4. The Norwegian Environmental Agency has been instrumental in strengthening the capacity in MOE and provided support in the process leading up to the approval.
- Guidelines concerning “Overarching Principles and Management requirements in Exploration Drilling and other related well operations” and “Technical and Operational Safety and Environmental Requirements for Exploration Drilling and Well Related Activities” were finalised for approval with the support from Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).
Increased institutional capacity
- Through support from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) was able to reduce the risk associated with identified carbonate targets offshore Lebanon and, more importantly, formulate questions that required answers from International Oil Companies before proceeding.
- Expert personnel from the PSA have worked shoulder to shoulder with LPA in their preparation for the first exploration drilling. On the job training and workshops have supported LPA to professionally carry out its mandate and responsibilities.
Increased transparency and accountability
- A delegation of parliamentarians took part in a study trip to Norway to increase their knowledge and understanding of the petroleum sector and the role of parliament as an oversight and control body.
- A town hall meeting was held in Beirut in September 2019 to inform a broader civil society on the EITI process and encourage the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to elect their representatives to the Multi Stakeholder Group. More work is needed in order to strengthen the capacity of the CSOs in the petroleum sector and enable them to hold the Government to account.