Lebanon is continuing to move forward with its exploration licensing for energy deposits in its territorial waters despite the political uncertainty caused by the resignation of its former Prime Minister, Saad El Hariri, Reuters reports.

The Minister of Energy and Water, Abi Khalil, issued a statement indicating that the state was prepared to “negotiate the technical proposals” of companies that had submitted exploration bids, according to Reuters.

El Harari, in an unexpected move, resigned as prime minister last week, creating political uncertainty in the Beirut. The Lebanese President, Michael Aoun, however, has refused to recognize his resignation, permitting the government to continue to operate, the news agency reports.

Lebanon launched the tender process earlier this year, but received few offers. A consortium of Total, Eni, and Novatek, made the sole bids, according to Reuters.

This fall the Lebanese National Assembly voted to move forward a plan to regulate and tax oil and natural gas revenues in preparation for potential hydrocarbon discoveries in Lebanon’s territorial waters, Bloomberg reported at the time.