MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s oil majors Rosneft and LUKoil and the country’s largest independent gas producer Novatek have filed bids for a licensing round in Lebanon to prospect hydrocarbons on the Middle Eastern country’s shelf, the Lebanese Energy and Water Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Russian companies have filed their bids as project non-operators, which envisages their participation in geological prospecting as minority shareholders in a consortium. State-run oil giant Rosneft and Russia’s largest privately held oil firm LUKoil are submitting individual bids, while Novatek has filed a bid jointly with GPB Resources, part of Gazprombank, affiliated with gas monopoly Gazprom.
Under the terms of the tender, project operators must confirm $10 billion worth of assets available to them, while the required sum for non-operators is $500 million.
The Lebanese Energy and Water Ministry has received bids from 52 companies from 25 countries, including Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni, Statoil and Shell, as well as from Japanese, South Korean and Indian firms.
A final list of companies that will take part in the tender will be announced on April 18 after a pre-qualification procedure. The first licensing round will start on May 2.