(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Lebanon announced on Friday tenders for offshore oil and gas exploration operations.
Speaking at a news conference, Minister of Energy Jibran Basil said bidders' applications would be accepted till March 28. Three weeks later, names of qualified companies for the mega projects will be made public.
The minister also indicated that contracts for the oil-gas exploration ventures would be signed by February 2014.
"Lebanon will witness the first oil drilling operation in the end of 2015, with production forecast to begin in 2016," he announced.
"Lebanon declares today that it is on the track of oil and gas and there is no move backward, neither halting nor dreaming, for the dream has become true, " he said.
Experts estimate that there are some 122 trillion feet of natural gas and some two billion barrels of crude oil under the sea bed off the Lebanese shores.
According to a French report, up to 440 million barrels of oil were detected in the northern territorial waters of the Mediterranean country.