Israel issues bid documents for new gas exploration licenses

Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy

Steinitz: The agreement to lay an Israel-Europe gas pipeline and new export deals with Jordan and Egypt make offshore gas exploration more attractive.

Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources today published auction documents for the second competitive procedure for the issuing of gas exploration licenses in the country's economic waters.

The ministry has set up a special website to provide all the relevant information and documents. Companies can submit bids until June 2019 and the results of winning bids will be published the following month.

Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said, "We are today embarking on a new and improved competitive procedure for gas and oil field exploration in Israel's economic waters. The fact that Israel has become a gas exporter to Jordan and Egypt together with the completion of the agreement to lay an Israel-Europe gas pipeline makes the terms for new explorations more attractive for international energy companies."

The first attempt at opening up Israel's seas to international competition ended ingloriously: only two companies submitted bids, and won six of the 20 blocks advertised by the ministry. These were Greek company Energean, which in any case was already active in Israel (and is now traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange), and Indian company ONGC, which recently opened a representative office in Israel but has not yet announced a date for commencing exploration at sea. Energean will start exploration during 2019.

As in the first round, Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) will be barred from bidding because they each already hold rights to produce more than 20% of Israel's known natural gas reserves.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 26, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy
Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy
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