Israel's Petroleum Council has approved the bids received in the tender issued 18 months ago by the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources for natural gas and oil exploration licenses in the country's economic waters.
Greek company Energean's subsidiary Energean Israel Ltd. will receive the exploration licenses for blocks 12, 21, 22, 23 and 31, which are close to the Karish and Tanin gas fields already owned by the company. A consortium of Indian government-owned companies including ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil Corp and Oil India will receive the license for block 32.
The tender closed for bids last month with only the bids from Energean and the Indian consortium received despite intensive efforts by Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources and Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz. These were the first tenders issued for more than four years.
Steinitz said, "We are talking about the start of a long-term process that will lead to realizing the potential of the natural gas and oil reserves in Israel's economic waters for the benefit of the country's citizens. I welcome the entry of Indian and Greek companies into the Israeli economy."
He added, "At the same time, the fact that only some of the exploration areas had any demand obliges us to draw some conclusions about the future. I believe that the memorandum of understanding signed last week to lay a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Italy will make gas exploration in Israel more attractive. Consequently, I have instructed to open up preparations for another competitive process in 2018 in which our conclusions will be implemented."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 11, 2017
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