Accession of Lebanon to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI): Lessons learned, analysis and legal aspects of accession

This is a policy paper that recommends Lebanon to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative ("EITI"). EITI can benefit Lebanon by providing transparency in Lebanon’s industrial sector to achieve public interest. It further could improve Lebanon’s economy, and accountability by empowering communities and forming a relationship between government and civil society. EITI also helps in building a trustworthy reputation for Lebanon, making Lebanon an appealing environment for investors. The purpose of this paper is to propose that Lebanon should join EITI.
 

 

Executive Summary 

 

Lebanon Petroleum exploration started in the 1930’s, between 1947 and 1967 seven wells have been drilled. The Lebanese Petroleum company drilled the first well in 1953. Geologists were looking for methane and heavy hydrocarbons and not oil, because oil exploration was expensive. Exploration came to a halt due to the ongoing civil war in Lebanon. However, in the nineties the explorations began again in an offshore area, in 2013 the area has been marked and calculated. But no gas wells have been drilled in Lebanon. Although Lebanon made a pre-qualification round for offshore licensing in 2013 and forty-six companies were successful, the completion of this licensing is pending due to lack of governmental approvals. Which brings us to the conflicts that Lebanon is facing.
 

The first conflict in Lebanon took place in 1922, between sectarian groups. Which led the Europeans to seize control over the country. In 1926 France succeeded to control parts of Lebanon and the first Lebanese constitution was promulgated. In 1940 during WWII Britain sent troops to Lebanon to face the Germans. Which led Lebanon to struggle for independence in 1941. After independence, the Israel-Palestine conflict arose in 1948; this conflict has caused issues to Lebanon since it had accepted Palestinian refugees, causing a real sectarian conflict. This issue eventually resulted in a civil war in 1958. Sectarian based conflict have contributed in creating the conditions for the patronage and corruption.

 

There are three main types of corruption in Lebanon: Political Corruption, Bureaucratic Corruption, and Grand Corruption. Lebanon is torn between tribes, religious, and political parties. Thus, influenced the governmental system as well; thus leaving the oil industry with no proper management. Statistics, and corruption rates rankings proved that Lebanon lacks Transparency that is why we recommend Lebanon to join the EITI. EITI can benefit Lebanon by providing transparency in Lebanon’s industrial sector to achieve public interest. It further could improve Lebanon’s economy, and accountability by empowering communities and forming a relationship between government and civil society. EITI also helps in building a trustworthy reputation for Lebanon, making Lebanon an appealing environment for investors. The purpose of this paper is to propose that Lebanon should join EITI.

 

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