The deadline to get those permits will expire on June 15, this media outlet reported.
The auction should have started in April 2019, but was postponed several times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other reasons.
After exploring Area 4 in Lebanese territorial waters, a consortium made up of companies Eni, from Italy; Total, from France; and Novatek, from Russia, declared that it did not find commerciably viable quantities of fuels.
Those three companies were going to carry out the same work in Area 9 with Beirut’s authorization, but they have not yet done it.
The Lebanese government granted the first exploration licenses in December, 2017, and then-Minister of Energy Cesar Abi Khalil said that he was optimist about the possibility of ending the country’s dependence on foreign energy.