Energy QatarEnergy coalition bids in Lebanon licensing round By Reuters October 3, 2023 REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir Lebanon's energy minister Walid Fayad speaks during a conference during Beirut energy week in Dbayeh, Lebanon, on September 21, 2023 A coalition of TotalEnergies, Eni and QatarEnergy applied for the second licensing round to bid on oil and gas blocks 8 and 10 in Lebanese waters, an hour before the deadline on Monday, Lebanon’s energy ministry said. Last month the consortium began drilling an exploratory well in Lebanon’s block 9, one of the blocks falling alongside the newly delineated maritime border between Lebanon and Israel. The boundary was drawn last year following US-mediated talks. The deadline to bid on blocks 8 and 10 had already been extended several times in recent years. “Yes, these were the bids we received as part of second licensing rounds. This is positive news as it increases the number of blocks where we have engagement, even before the results of 9 are obtained,” Walid Fayad, the energy minister, said in an interview. The government will review the bids in the next few months and negotiate with the companies, he said. Fayad said the consortium was also considering drilling an additional well in block 4. The consortium – which previously included Russia’s Novatek before QatarEnergy took over and expanded its share – completed exploratory drilling in Lebanon’s offshore block 4 in 2020 but did not find a commercially viable amount of hydrocarbons at the time. Fayad said the consortium would decide whether it would drill again in block 4 by October 22. He said the consortium would have results for block 9 – where it is drilling an exploratory well – by the end of this month or in November. “Based on this, we will evaluate scope and timing of launch of the third licensing round,” he added.