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Lebanon approves offshore oil, gas exploration bid - source

BEIRUT, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Lebanon's cabinet approved a bid on Thursday for offshore energy exploration by a consortium made up of France's Total, Italy's ENI and Russia's Novatek, in the country's first oil and gas offshore licensing round, a government source said.

"Congratulations to the Lebanese people on the passing of the oil decree and on Lebanon entering the club of oil countries," Oil Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said on Twitter. (Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Adrian Croft)