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Strangled development in Gaza and Lebanon

Lebanon and Gaza both hold commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. But regional politics are still stifling progress

Initial studies carried out in Lebanon in 2012 indicated positive hydrocarbon prospects, offshore as well as onshore. But the exploration and development of potential energy sources have become hostage to the political paralysis inside the country and mutual enmity between Lebanon and its southern neighbour, Israel. Intense political and sectarian rivalry has resulted in the country's parliament failing since mid-2014 to choose a new president. Political groups seeking to influence the shape of a future energy sector are also preventing the cabinet's vote on the model production-sharing contract and legislation to approve the country's 10 exploration blocks. "This could be wrapped up in no

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