Interview with Mr. Dory Renno Director of the Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit

Conducted and published by Executive Magazine 13th March 2018 http://executive-bulletin.com/other/lebanon-international-oil-gas-summit...

 

Brief us about the Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit and where lays the importance of the summit this year with the progress the oil & gas sector made these past years in Lebanon?

The 4th Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit “LIOG” was launched in 2012 with the aim to support the nascent Lebanon’s petroleum sector and to contribute in the development and the promotion of the sector, not only in Lebanon but internationally as well. LIOG, in its two first editions in 2012 and 2013, succeeded in attracting major International Oil Companies and international companies from the supply chain from different regions of the World and set itself as a leading regional event and a platform for high caliber local and international oil & gas speakers, industry leaders and experts from both public and private sectors to discuss and present the challenges and opportunities available in Lebanon in a highly informative conference led by the region’s governments.

LIOG 2017, in its third edition, held in May 2017 came at a perfect time after the approval by Lebanon’s Council of Ministers, early January 2017 of the two decrees related to the delineation of the ten offshore blocks and to the tender protocol, and after the announcement by the Minister of Energy & Water, H.E. Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, of the roadmap to complete the first offshore licensing round opening the door to the pre qualified companies to present their bids for the five offshore blocks on offer. LIOG 2017 succeeded in regaining the momentum and was able to attract again major oil and gas companies and industry leaders to Lebanon.

LIOG 2018, in its 4th edition, which will be held under the Patronage of H.E. Cesar Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy & Water, on the 24th and 25th of April 2018 at the Habtoor Beirut Hilton Grand Hotel, is keeping pace with the latest development that occurred in the sector and is coming after the awarding of the two blocks 4 & 9 offshore Lebanon and the signature of the Exploration and Production Agreement (EPA) end of January with the consortium of companies made up by Total S.A. ENI International BV and JSC Novatek.

The importance of LIOG this year is that it comes at a time where the awarded companies are preparing themselves to start operations offshore Lebanon. Drilling wells are planned to start early 2019 and multiple services and products will be needed throughout the whole value chain to support the oil and gas sector. Business and investment opportunities will be available during the exploration phase and beyond, local and international companies and service providers will have the opportunity to take part in such activities by showcasing and offering their services and products.

The Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit will be the meeting place for companies to gain updates from industry leaders on Lebanon’s plans and strategies for the oil & gas sector and will be the networking place for all participants to meet and interact and take advantage of the exclusive Business Matching Service, helping them to pre-arrange meetings with other attendees through an easy-to-use technology platform.

What are the main themes of discussions and some of the main speakers?

This year’s edition of the Summit is organized under the Slogan, “Promoting Lebanon’s dynamic and inspiring opportunities”.

LIOG-2018 is set to cover important themes and topics including:

  • An industry and market update showcasing potentials and recent achievements, along with the latest on Lebanon’s first licensing round, and the prospects for future bid rounds in the light of the legal, financial and technical frameworks.
  • Investment opportunities and returns throughout the value chain, along with fresh opportunities and challenges from the points of view of both the government and international operators, right-holders and service providers. The attractiveness of Lebanon as a destination for investments in oil and gas is also to be discussed, highlighting the many benefits that Lebanon has to offer.
  • An in-depth understanding of the opportunities associated with possible facilities and infrastructure projects which will be needed for the development of the sector. A special emphasis is given to the sector’s supply chain and local content within all business activities across the value chain in both the exploration and production phases.

All those subjects will be presented within a well-structured, very rich programme over two consecutive days.

Like its previous editions, the Summit is attracting highly influential speakers, including business leaders and experts who will share their experience and insight with participants.

The line-up of speakers will be led by HE Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, the official patron of the event. Members of the board of directors of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration will also speak in the conference, along with a long list of high-ranking officials from major participating organizations from both the private and public sectors.

What are you expecting from this summit and what outcome are you waiting for?

With the latest important developments that occurred in Lebanon’s Petroleum sector, the remarkable success and the momentum gained from its previous three editions since 2012, with the strong and rich well structured program over two consecutive days covering diversified subjects and topics, and with our strong local and international network and marketing strategies and tools, we are expecting to attract over 500 delegates and 35 high caliber speakers from 25 countries representing over 200 local and international companies and organizations.

The outcome is to become a milestone on the road of developing Lebanon’s Petroleum industry.

Is there a bigger participation this year? Why?

Certainly we can feel the difference this year. To date, more than one hundred and fifty companies and organizations have already confirmed their participation and support to LIOG. Nearly 65 percent of those companies are international; the rest are Lebanese companies from different sectors.

Participating companies include IOCs, drilling and well management firms, pipeline services and maintenance, contractors, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), specialized IT and telecommunications companies, insurance companies, banks and specialized law firms, air and maritime transportation services, HSE consultants and suppliers, recruitment and training agencies, embassies, trade agencies and commercial departments, as well as local and international business associations.

How will LIOG help the sector?

The Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit is organized by a UK-based Global Events Partners Ltd (GEP) and the Lebanese based company Planners and Partners.

GEP is affiliated to the dmg::events network which organizes some of the world’s largest oil & gas business events including GASTECH, ADIPEC, Global Petroleum Show and the Heavy Oil Congress.

Dmg::events is a subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc, one of the largest media companies in the UK.

This is tremendously helping in globally promoting Lebanon’s Petroleum industry and putting LIOG on the international map of international oil and gas events

Additionally, LIOG team participated in April 2017 in Gastech -Tokyo and in November 2017 in ADIPEC – Abu Dhabi which provided a huge networking opportunities and high visibility participation for Lebanon through a promotional stand for the Lebanese Petroleum Administration within the exhibition of both events

For 2018, we are planning to help Lebanon to participate in Gastech, which will be held in Barcelona in September and in ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi in November where Lebanon will have high visibility in both the conference program and the exhibition.

LIOG also partners with major local and international specialized business and oil and gas media which give the Summit an international exposure and updates the readers about Lebanon’s petroleum news and developments.

 

Do you believe that the petroleum sector in Lebanon will be among the most beneficial sectors to the economy?

I have no doubt in mind that the petroleum sector will actively contribute to the economic growth of the Lebanese economy. However, it is still hard to estimate the size of this contribution, but with promising results of the upcoming exploration activities, this sector will certainly be one of the most beneficial to the Lebanese economy.

This is mainly due to the huge investments by the international companies as well as local investors.

The petroleum sector will be the driver for other sectors to flourish. Some of those sectors include petrochemical industries, service companies, catering, hospitality and hotel accommodation, telecommunications, engineering, real estate, spare parts, medical, security, office supplies, commercial and personal vehicles and transport, freight and forwarding services, environmental services and much more.

Additionally, the EPA requires that the right holders must give preference to Lebanese goods and services in awarding contracts, and at least 80 percent of the employees must be Lebanese nationals which will help in creating new jobs and decreasing the unemployment rate.