While the Eastern Mediterranean is well known for its major (and underexploited) gas reserves, Lebanon is the latest country in the region to join the oil rush, after Egypt’s fitful entry into the market and Israel’s more straightforward path to exporter status . Seismic surveys in 2013 estimated Lebanon’s offshore fields to hold 96 trillion cubic feet of gas and 850 million barrels of oil. On January 27th, the government finally opened the bidding for five offshore blocks in a first licensing round, after a three-year delay brought upon by political instability. The fractious Lebanese government hopes that these energy reserves and the wealth that should come with them will alleviate the country’s notorious power shortages and budget deficits. But, history is littered with examples of fragile countries going completely off the rails because of the warping effects oil has on their economies – will Lebanon follow suit or […]