Lebanon set to delay oil and gas license auction until 2015

Lebanon reportedly will delay the first auction of oil and natural gas licenses in its coastal waters until 2015 because of political gridlock over decrees needed to start the bidding process.

Lebanon hasn't had a president since May because lawmakers have failed to agree on a candidate that would satisfy the country's two main political blocs, and the political mess is clearly impacting the energy bidding process.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Total (NYSE:TOT), Statoil (NYSE:STO), Eni (NYSE:E) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) are among 12 firms that have pre-qualified as potential operators.

Lebanon claims it may have as much as 96T cu. ft. of natural gas and 850M barrels of oil off its coast.

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