Lebanese Caretaker Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil postponed on Friday bidding for qualified companies for licenses for oil and gas exploration in the Lebanese waters.
This is the second postponement of the important tender, which was scheduled to be held on December 10, 2013.
The Minister also sent letters to President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, informing them about the decision.
Bassil also asked of President Sleiman and Premier Mikati to call for an extraordinary cabinet session to issue decrees concerning Lebanon's marine blocks and the book of conditions for bidding for exploration licenses.
In his letters, Bassil said he took this decision to preserve Lebanon's oil wealth and defend it against external trespass, especially by Israel.
In this regard, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour warned Friday, in an interview with a local newspaper, that his country's marine oil was at risk of Israeli piracy.
On Tuesday, Bassil lashed out at Israel for digging a well five kilometers from Lebanese offshore reserves, making it harder for Lebanon to protect its oil reserves.
The discovery of a new offshore gas field near Lebanese territorial waters meant that Israel could drain off some of Lebanon's crude oil, the minister warned.
Lebanon and Israel are bickering over a zone that consists of about 854 square kilometers and suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars.
Mansour told the Lebanese daily that Israeli was taking measures to impede Lebanon's ability to invest in the oil sector. He pointed out that that Israeli was only seeking to seize the Lebanese share of its offshore gas and oil wealth.
He stressed that Lebanon would resort to diplomatic and international laws to demonstrate Israel's violations and to prove their claim to this wealth