The Ministry of Energy and Water has announced that one operator, ONGC Videsh Limited (Indian), and seven non-operators have prequalified in the second round for the exploration and production of oil and gas.
The prequalified non-operators are: PJSC Lukoil (Russian), Qatar Petroleum International Limited (Qatari), New Age African Global Energy Limited (British), JSC Novatec (Russian), Petropars Limited (Iranian), Sonatrach International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (Algerian), and Sapurakencana Energy (Malaysian).
This brings the total number of prequalified companies, including those accepted in the first round in 2013, to 53, including 13 operators.
British firm Global Resources, which prequalified in 2013, as a joint venture with Novatek, was eliminated from the prequalification round because the latter broke off the contract. Novatek continues as a prequalified non-operator.
Lukoil, which applied as an operator, in the second prequalification round, was accepted as a non-operator, according to Wissam Chbat, Chairman of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA).
Companies that prequalified in the 2013 were requested to update their financial data, putting forth the audited 2014 and 2015 and non-audited 2016 statements. They are allowed to participate in the bidding round, expected to close on September 15, as long as they update their data before that time.
Chbat said that Parliament is expected to ratify the oil and gas offshore tax law once it is convened, in adherence to the ministry’s roadmap.
“The law has to pass through the committees of public works, and budget and finance. Lawmakers are thinking of holding a joint meeting to approve the law as soon as possible,” he said.
Concerning the future bidding process, he said: “Theoretically, if a block receives four bids, we will take their technical and commercial proposals. We do our resulting assessment according to our own model and we will rank the bids accordingly.”
According to Chbat, the LPA will add the grades of the technical proposal of the companies, which is 30 percent of the total grade.
“As a result, we have the companies ranked. The company that ranks first is the provisional winner. It is provisional because we may not reach a final agreement with it. We leave room to award the second in case we don’t agree with the first,” he said.
This means that the LPA is allowed to improve the technical proposal of the company ranked first, before it is declared the final winner.
Regarding transparency, Chbat said: “We can involve the civil society more in knowing what is happening but not in the technical assessment. We cannot delegate the technical aspects to anyone else. The civil society can question the final results. The overall process will be open to the public but not immediately.”