As part of the second round of competitive bids for Israel's offshore natural gas and oil licenses tenders, only two offers have been received from consortia comprising Israeli and international companies.
The two bids were from: a consortium of Israeli company Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) and two British companies Cairn Energy plc (LSE: CNE) and Soco International plc . (LSE: SIA): and a consortium of Energean Oil & Gas plc (LSE: ENOG; TASE: ENOG) and Israel opportunity.
Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said, "The arrival of additional European companies to Israel as well as the soon to be connected up Leviathan rig and continued development of the Karish-Tanin fields will lead to the dismantling of the monopoly and strengthening competition in this sector. We are continuing to work to make Israel into a regional energy power."
Traded on the London Stock Exchange, Cairn has for 20 years been engaged in exploration, discovery and development of oil and gas assets worldwide and it currently operates in Europe, Central and South America, and West Africa.
Soco is a veteran energy exploration and production company based in London with oil and gas assets in Egypt and Vietnam.
Energean already has the rights to Israel's offshore Karish and Tanin gas fields and hold five exploration licenses from the first round of competitive bids. Ratio holds 15% of rights of the Leviathan field and 70% of the Roy license. Israel opportunity has rights in various Israeli offshore assets and assets in North America.
Over the next few weeks, professional evaluators at the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources will assess the bids and whether they are worthy of approval by the Petroleum Council.
As part of the second round of competitive bids, the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources put 19 exploration license (blocks) tenders up for bids. Each block is 400 square kilometers. The two consortia bid for 12 of the 19 blocks.
The first round of competitive bids ended in November 2017 and awarded six exploration licenses - five to Energean and one to a consortium of Indian government companies. A third round of competitive bids will take place in 2021.
The small number of bids is disappointing, especially after Steinitz and senior officials from the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources met with representatives from many of the world's energy majors and some companies including ExxonMobil even purchased the tender documents.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 15, 2019
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